Legal and economic factors

The markets of the Fresenius Group are fundamentally stable and relatively independent of economic cycles due to the intrinsic importance of the life-saving and life-sustaining products and treatments that the Group offers. This was demonstrated again in 2009, a year that was marked by difficult macroeconomic conditions. In addition, the markets in which we offer our products and services are expanding, mainly for three reasons:

  • demographic trends
  • demand for innovative therapies in the industrialized countries
  • increasing availability of high-quality health care in the developing and newly industrializing countries.

Furthermore, the diversification across four business segments provides additional stability for the Group.

The statement of income and the balance sheet can be influenced by currency translation effects as a result of exchange rate fluctuations, especially in the rate of the US dollar to the euro. In 2009, this had a positive impact on the statement of income due to the altered average annual exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro of 1.39 in 2009 as compared to 1.47 in 2008. In the balance sheet, the changed spot rate of 1.44 as of December 31, 2009 – compared to 1.39 as of December 31, 2008 – had a slight impact.

There were no legal aspects that significantly impacted business performance in 2009.

On the whole, the legal and economic factors for the Fresenius Group were largely unchanged, so the Group’s operating business was not materially affected.