The low demand in the Russian pharmaceutical market has led to reduced capacity utilization and strong pricing pressure. Despite the difficult environment, the Russian subsidiary POLLO made a significant contribution to the result of the division.
Although our main markets Russia and Ukraine are still in crisis mode, the set goals have been exceeded. In particular, the recessionary tendencies in the Russian pharmaceutical market created considerable difficulties for our customers for pharmaceutical raw materials and packaging. The demand for both locally produced and imported pharmaceuticals decreased relative to previous years, which in turn led to reduced capacity utilization of Russian pharmaceutical companies and strong pricing pressures. The tense liquidity on the Russian pharmaceutical market continued in 2017. The price therefore increasingly becomes the most important criterion in purchasing decisions. Our sales of pharmaceutical raw materials and packaging to Russia decreased.
The reduced sales to Russia were more than overcompensated by the higher sales to Ukraine. The focus on high-margin products and reliable suppliers has proven itself successful in the difficult market environment.
Despite the difficult environment our Russian subsidiary POLLO achieved a very good result and made a significant contribution to the result of the PHARMA division.
The Linhardt-Altai company, in which we have a share of 5 % and for which POLLO carries out the marketing, has not developed as positively as expected. The commissioning of the 2nd production line for aluminum tubes has been postponed until the beginning of 2018 due to technical problems. Thus, fewer aluminum tubes than planned were available for marketing by POLLO.
The sales of feed additives increased despite the difficult environment. For feed additives we focus primarily on the Russian market. The marketing of trace elements and specialty products in Russia is carried out exclusively by our subsidiary AUSTROKORM, which is now in 9th place in the rating of listed importers of feed additives.
Many years of experience and good relationships with suppliers and customers allow us to adapt quickly to new market conditions and to expand our product portfolio.