Oriola Corporation published its Interim report 1 January-31 March 2017 on Friday, 28 April 2017 at 8.30 a.m.
President and CEO Eero Hautaniemi:
The beginning of 2017 was characterized by intense competition in the Swedish retail market. Especially this was the case in Traded Goods. We are developing and improving our competitiveness in the Consumer business with a number of programs focused on Rx availability, pricing and with a new, more streamlined regional organization. We are also actively developing our pharmacy chain and online operation. These programs will have a positive effect from the end of the second quarter onwards.
In the Services business the discontinuation of the distribution of Abbvie pharmaceuticals in Sweden contributed to lower net sales as expected. For the full year 2017 this will be partly offset by the start of distribution of Meda in Sweden, during the second quarter of this year. Profitability was supported by high efficiency in logistic operations. Our new IT-system will go live in Finland in June.
In the Healthcare business dose dispensing for the Norrland region commenced, adding some 19,000 patients and roughly doubling our Swedish dose dispensing volume. The ramp-up of dose production had a negative impact in the first quarter, but will result in a positive effect in the second half of 2017. Together with Kesko Oyj in Finland, we are planning to enter the Finnish consumer market with a chain of health, beauty and wellbeing stores. The establishment of a joint venture was announced in March 2017, and is subject to the approval of the competition authorities.