The Esteve pharmaceutical group reinforced its internationalization last year, reaching 75% of its sales outside Spain, as explained by Staffan Schüberg, CEO of the company, and financial director Roser Gomila, and it is going to increase its production capacity with the expansion of its factory in Celrà (Girona) to meet the growth of its custom manufacturing business.

The pharmaceutical company controlled by the Esteve family reached 710 million euros in revenue last year, 10% more than the previous year. With a direct presence in Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Portugal, Esteve sells in 55 countries. Its exports to EU countries accounted for 49% of its sales, with an 18% increase last year, while 26% of its income comes from countries in the rest of the world, where it grew by 9%, and especially from USA.

The group also obtained a profit of 61 million euros, which grew by 6%, while operating profit or adjusted EBITDA (excluding non-recurring expenses) remained stable at 128 million.

Esteve opened its capital last year in the German fund Lubea with a minority stake of 26%. Schüberg highlighted that this injection of capital now allows the firm to accelerate its growth plan, with the “medium-term” goal of a possible IPO.

Thus, a few weeks ago the group signed a preliminary agreement with the American company Perrigo Company to acquire HRA Pharma Rare Diseases, a French company specialized in rare diseases, in an operation in which it will invest up to 275 million euros.

The company is also going to invest in increasing its production capacity, with the construction of a new active ingredients plant in Celrà, next to the one they have in the same town, to increase the group’s production capacity by between 10 and 15%. .

Schüberg explained that the Celrà plant is already the most important of those that Esteve has in Catalonia, above those of Banyeres del Penedès (Tarragona) and Lliçà de Vall (Barcelona). The firm has two other plants in China and Mexico, and last year it invested 50 million, of which 28 million were allocated to strengthening its industrial capacity. The group’s global workforce increased by 6% last year, reaching 1,926 employees.

Manufacturing for third parties is now Esteve’s main business area, with revenues of 446 million that grew by 18% last year. Schüberg explained that after the pandemic, large pharmaceutical companies have opted to hire nearby, high-tech suppliers, which has relaunched the group’s business.

Esteve has 110 brands in its product portfolio, and last year invested 38 million euros in R&D. As a result of this effort and its most recent purchases, Esteve will now be able to take its own pharmaceutical business to the United States, the first market world pharmaceutical, and to China. However, Schüberg acknowledged the group’s focus will continue on Europe.