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Germany's Merck logs strong growth in 2021, China is second largest market

German science and technology company Merck reported robust growth in 2021, with China its second largest and one of its fastest-expanding markets.

The life science, healthcare and electronics business conglomerate delivered net sales of 19.7 billion euros ($21.7 billion), up 12.3 percent from the previous year, the company said in its annual earnings release on Thursday.

Pre-adjusted EBITDA, a measurement of profitability, advanced by 17.3 percent to 6.1 billion euros.

Executives said the major drivers were the company's "Big Three Businesses". They are the process solutions business of life science, new healthcare products, and the semiconductor solutions business of electronics.

The Asia Pacific contributed around 36 percent to that revenue pie, a region that "is driven by China to a great extent", said Belen Garijo, chair of the executive board and CEO of Merck.

"The commitment and the level of investment in China span across the three sectors," Garijo said in a conference call to reporters on Thursday, citing examples such as the M Lab Collaboration Center in Shanghai for its life science customers in China.

The facility encourages new drug development and offers customized solutions from services to training.

Another highlight was the announcement of an over 1 billion yuan investment in expanding the electronics business in China by 2025.

The funds will be used in semiconductor material production and research aligned with the company's three existing manufacturing sites in China, two in Shanghai and one in the neighboring city of Suzhou.

She also mentioned the impact of China's volume-based procurement plan to be "basically stable" related to the healthcare unit.

Executives reaffirmed the company is on course towards its goal of achieving 25 billion euros in sales by 2025.

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