Fresenius Medical Care has had a lot to shout about recently. Last year, the company, known as the world’s leading supplier of dialysis products and services, celebrated 20 years in existence. During that time it had grown thirteen-fold in size. More to the point, it turned a corner, with profits rising again after three years of decline.
Much of this is down to Chief Executive Rice Powell. He took over in 2013, a time when the company, heavily dependent on the dialysis business, was hard hit by cutbacks in the US health system. Mr. Powell instigated a cost-cutting program to boost efficiency, while also expanding into care for the chronically ill, acquiring clinics and practitioner networks to establish a major new focus for the over-specialized business.
The next challenge will be to maintain this progress, and realize it’s ambitious target of 10 percent year-on-year growth. In 2016, shareholders reaped rewards from Mr. Powell’s foresight. At Thursday’s shareholder meeting, dividends will increase €0.20 to €0.96, or $1.04. The share price has performed less strongly, rising just 3.5 percent in 2016, a period when the DAX market index of leading shares jumped 7 percent.