Highlights in 2018

During the Board of Directors meeting on September 5, 2018, chaired by Thierry Boiron, Christian Boiron announced that he would resign his position as General Manager, effective January 1, 2019. Valérie Lorentz-Poinsot, Deputy General Manager for the past seven years, was appointed as his replacement.

The year 2018 was marked by the launch of the following products:

  • Arnicrème® in France and Italy, a cosmetic product used to treat muscle fatigue and cramps,
  • Camilia® in a pack of 30 single doses in Russia,
  • Coryzalia® in a pack of 20 single doses in France.

In the United States, sales increased significantly in 2018 (+€23,808 thousand at constant exchange rate) against a backdrop of high levels of winter illnesses. The subsidiary purchased a building for €3,235 thousand with the goal of moving into it in 2019 and selling its current building.

In France, in late August, the Ministry of Health tasked the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) with assessing the justification for the reimbursement policy on homeopathic medicines. The different homeopathy players were consulted. The laboratories drafted and submitted a report in early 2019. French homeopathy industry representatives also submitted a contribution in late January. The HAS is slated to submit its opinion to the Minister of Health sometime in 2019.

Furthermore, an IPSOS study published in November 2018 showed that French consumers support homeopathy:3 out of 4 French people (76%) have a positive image of homeopathic medicines and 74 % French people oppose ending their reimbursement.

In Spain, the Ministerial Order on the formalities to be completed by proprietors of homeopathic medicines on the market since 1994 was adopted on April 27, 2018, after a wait of more than a decade. The medicines that the group intends to keep on the market were reported in late July. The Spanish Drug Administration published the list of homeopathic medicines to be brought into compliance on October 29, 2018, with a submission calendar that extends into 2022.

At the end of the year, the business was also affected by the Spanish government’s offensives against homeopathy, such as the presentation of an action plan against “pseudo-therapeutic” practices including homeopathy. However, these challenges to homeopathy were unsuccessful at the European legislative level when brought to the Commission.

Operations at the group’s future logistics center in Les Olmes began at the end of 2018 with finished product storage. The first shipments will leave the site during the last quarter of 2019.

The first BOIRON pharmacy catering directly to the public opened in São Paulo, Brazil in October 2018. Its objective is to fully meet the expectations of Brazilian physicians and their patients by bringing them a wide range of BOIRON homeopathic medicines.

Thanks to the increase in sales generated by the office in Hong Kong, the BOIRON parent company earned €5,175 thousand in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

The deployment of the new organization of the French sites continues. The second step, which aims to concentrate establishments on three new sites and transfer two preparation departments, began in late 2018. The impact on the group’s operating income was insignificant (-€358 thousand).

As part of this process:

  • The Levallois-Perret site was sold on June 6, 2018, generating a €6,207 thousand capital gain. The site had been closed in 2017, when it was folded into the Pantin site.
  • A new site is currently being built in Lille, to bring together the teams from two rented sites.
  • Construction has started on the Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon site, which will concentrate the Francheville and Saint-Etienne sites as well as the Clermont-Ferrand and Grenoble preparation facilities.

Under the provisions of the program renewed by the Shareholders’ Meeting of May 17, 2018, the company bought back 898,611 shares at a total cost of €63,510 thousand.

All treasury shares held on September 5, 2018, a total of 1,849,196 shares, were canceled. Following their cancellation, the share capital comprised 17,565,560 shares.

After the French Constitutional Council struck down the 3% tax on dividends paid, the BOIRON parent company requested and, at the end of March obtained, reimbursement of the €3,297 thousand spent on this tax for the 2013-2016 fiscal years. Because part of that sum, €1,817 thousand, was recognized in 2017, the difference generated tax savings in 2018.

The arbitration tribunal ruled on the litigation between our Belgian subsidiary UNDA and its former Italian distributor on December 18, 2018. The ruling may be appealed. Its impact on 2018 income was insignificant (-€171 thousand).