Linde: a solid foundation for growth
In the healthcare product area, the medical gases and medical device business, related maintenance and advisory services as well as medical/clinical service provision, the Group continued to see steady growth, achieving an increase in sales on a comparable basis of 5.0 percent to EUR 1.189 bn (2010: EUR 1.132 bn). Health, the global megatrend, remains intact. This promising market is boosted by demographic trends and ever better diagnostic and therapy options, especially in the case of chronic respiratory diseases. Moreover, patients’ improved access to these forms of treatment has a positive impact on the healthcare business.
Linde’s healthcare activities cover Hospital Care and Homecare. The Hospital business is concerned with offering hospitals and healthcare institutions a complete medical gas solution – covering the full range of medical gases, medical gas related services, installations, devices and equipment. Homecare focuses on the provision of medical gases and related medical services to patients with chronic respiratory diseases in settings other than hospitals.
Hospital Care sales rose by 4.7 percent to EUR 889 m (2010: EUR 849 m), reinforcing Linde’s position in major markets such as Asia and South America. In the 2011 financial year, the Group also scored a major success. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission granted Linde a new indication for its INO®max therapy for use during cardiac surgery, as a treatment for pre- and post-operative pulmonary hypertension (Glossary) in adults and children of all ages.
Homecare sales increased by 6.0 percent in the 2011 financial year to EUR 300 m (2010: EUR 283 m). A growing proportion of sales relates to the product REMEO®, a care concept for patients requiring ventilation for long periods. In the past year, Linde has continued to expand this range, especially in the homecare markets of Europe and the Americas.
During the reporting period, the Group also expanded its network of treatment centres for patients with sleep apnoea. Linde opened its third Australian care centre in Kent Town, Adelaide, following the establishment of similar centres in 2010 in Sydney and Melbourne. Furthermore, Linde began welcoming patients to centres in Portugal, Spain and Greece.