Lek Successful in the First Nine Months

14. 11. 2001

Ljubljana, November 14 – Sales of the pharmaceutical company Lek d.d. (Lek) in the first nine months of this year totalled SIT 50.4 billion, which is a 24.4% growth compared to the same period last year, and 80% of the planned sales for the current year.

Sales growth in the Lek Group was 31.8%. This proves the dynamism of the company and distinct orientation to expanding the scope of business and consolidating market shares in the most important markets.

The results of companies abroad purchased this year have made an important contribution to the growth of the Lek Group. It must be emphasized that the nine-month sales figures take into account sales of the Romanian company PharmaTech. Sales of the Polish company Argon were included in the results of the Lek Group for October and will further contribute to the result of the group at year end.

In Slovenia, Lek’s largest market, sales are showing a moderate increase of 9% due to changes in the market environment. It is important to note that Lek achieved a leading market share among pharmaceutical companies in Slovenia in the third quarter.

In the first nine months of this year highest sales growth was achieved in the region of the Commonwealth of Independent States (by 38.7%) and the region of Western Europe, USA and overseas countries (by 37.2%). The most successful region according to sales was Central and Eastern Europe (sales increased by 28.6%).

Lek’s most important product Amoksiklav was also successfully marketed in the first nine months of this year: sales increased mainly with continued internationalisation of marketing this product.

The sales share of pharmaceuticals, our leading program, amounted to 83.1%. The program of phramaceuticals is also the one with the highest sales growth (25%).

Similarly, 24% growth was reached by Lek’s OTC program. Its sales amounted to 7.5% of total Lek sales, the Animal Health Program 4.5%, Cosmetics 3.4%, and Medical Devices 1.5%.

Lek is pleased to announce to its shareholders that the sales achieved in the first nine months of this year exceed the dynamic planned goals. With good sales forecasts till the year end we are optimistically expecting business goals for 2001 to be achieved and surpassed.

Business internationalisation with expansion of sales and marketing and other operations abroad will acquire a new dimension in 2001 with take-overs of foreign firms. This is an additional component in the growth of Lek’s business and means that Lek is putting into practice its growth strategy and building the company as a group of pharmaceutical companies – one of the leading ones in Central and Eastern Europe. It is also well recognised in other parts of the world.

As a part of regular communication between Lek and its shareholders, investors and financial analysts, Lek’s president and CEO Metod Dragonja together with Lek’s financial director Marko Dražumerič and head of investors and shareholders relations Marjan Novak will visit several European financial centres in Great Britain and Scandinavia at the end of this week where they will present Lek’s nine-month business results to the financial public. This is only the first part of the presentation, which will continue until the end of November in Frankfurt, Zürich and Vienna.

This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

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For additional information, please contact Katarina Klemenc, Head of Corporate Communication Department, Lek d.d. Telephone: + 386 1 580 22 43