Net profit increased by 17% to EUR 19.0 million and represented an 11.1% net profit margin.
The financial independence of the Group was maintained. EBITDA (gross cash surplus) grew by 14% to EUR 34.3 million, which was largely sufficient to cover investments (EUR 18.3 million), while at the same time generating, for the eighth year in a row, a positive free cash flow of EUR 4.7 million.
Stallergenes strengthened its already sound balance sheet and as a result looks forward to its expansion with confidence. The net financial debt further declined to EUR 9.6 million and only represents 0.3 times EBITDA and 12% of equity.
The Group's 2008 consolidated financial statements are available from the Group's website: http://www.stallergenes.com .
As regards the Stalair(R) program, five major phase II/III clinical study results are pending. Three of these are "pivotal" studies that will lead to registrations.
The Group remains prudent to date on providing a sales guidance and expects sales growth of between 8% and 10%.
Investments will remain at a high level, without however calling into question Stallergenes' objective of maintaining an operating profitability in excess of 15% of sales and a positive free cash flow.
Significant recent transactions and events
The marketing authorization of Oralair(R) (grass pollen tablets) in its
paediatric indication was delivered on 19 January 2009 by the German agency.
Oralair(R) is thus mark
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