Lek's investment in Stryków in full swing

16. 6. 2003

Following the cornerstone celebration at Lek’s Pharmaceutical Production and Logistics Centre in Stryków near Łódź in September last year, attended by Presidents Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Milan Kučan, investments works have gained momentum. The first buildings will be released for use already on the turn of 2003, when Lek Polska will start moving its premises. At the same time, Lek and Sandoz (Novartis Generics) will integrate their operations in Poland.

The Stryków investment, worth EUR 40 million, is a 21st century project, making use of state-of-the-art technologies. A site of ca. 25 000 m2 will include buildings for the production of dry pharmaceutical forms of 1 milliard tablets and capsules/year target capacity, low and high storage warehouses with room for 8200 palettes, and an administration and control building with office premises and microbiological and chemical quality control laboratories. The works are to be completed and the site is to be released for use in the middle of 2004.

At the same time, the strategic association of Lek within the global umbrella of Sandoz, a leading international generic pharmaceutical company, has also commenced in Poland. The clearly formulated goals and the position of the group’s management promise a very complementary scenario of joint operation beneficial to both parties. The Sandoz group and Lek will not only be a strong European player on the pharmaceutical market, but will also aim at achieving the leading position on the global generic market, first of all in countries which promise the greatest growth potential. Lek will remain the leading Slovenian company with an excellent presence in all CEE/CIS/SEE markets. On its traditional markets, Lek will keep investing in developing health care and medical knowledge, and promote the implementation of an important premise of its mission – a responsible and partner-like approach to the environment and the man.

Pursuing this mission, in the beginning of 2002 Lek signed an agreement of cooperation with the Tatra Voluntary Rescue Service (TOPR). A “HEALTHY COOPERATION” program has been launched, aiming at financing TOPR’s daily operations, launching an educational campaign on safety in the mountains and first aid, and cooperation with the Tatra National Park in projects aimed at protecting the natural environment of the Tatra Mountains. The cooperation is planned over a long period of time so that education may be provided to a wider audience. Lek is the only pharmaceutical company in Poland to have launched a project of this kind. As a Polish economic entity, apart from production and distribution Lek is also engaged in pro-social activities.

Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Lek is an international group of generics companies and ranks among the leading pharmaceutical businesses in the CEE, SEE and CIS region, while having a broader international presence in several specific product lines. Lek is active in pharmaceuticals and veterinary products. In pharmaceuticals, it has a wide-ranging product portfolio, with substantial expertise in anti-infectives, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal tract products. The Lek Group employs about 3600 people in various regions. In 2001, it achieved total sales of SIT 78.5 billion (CHF 544 million), operating income of SIT 9.6 billion (CHF 67 million) and net income of SIT 8.2 billion (CHF 57 million) . The company’s market capitalization on 22 August 2002 was approximately SIT 129 billion (CHF 834 million). For further information please consult http://www.lek.si.

Lek Polska, a Lek group company, is one of top 10 pharmaceutical companies in Poland. Besides promotion and distribution of Lek Slovenia pharmaceutical and veterinary products, it also has own production of pharmaceutical products. It employs about 260 people and achieved total sales in 2002 in amount of PLN 284 million (CHF 111 million), of which PLN 30 million (CHF 12 million) was of own production. With the sales growth of 28% in the year 2002 (the biggest in pharmaceutical sector) Lek Polska was officially declared as Gazelle of polish economy. Further information please find at http://www.lek.com.pl.

Sandoz, a Novartis company, is a global producer of generic pharmaceuticals. It develops, manufactures and sells the medicines, pharmaceuticals and biotechnological active ingredients. Decades of experience und know-how make Sandoz a renowned partner in the Pharmaceuticals, Biopharmaceuticals and Industrial Products franchises. Altogether, Sandoz employs around 11 500 people worldwide and it posted sales of USD 1, 8 billion in 2002. Further information please find at http://www.sandoz.com

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer health. In 2002, the Group’s businesses achieved sales of USD 20.9 billion and a net income of USD 4.7 billion. The Group invested approximately USD 2.8 billion in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ about 77 200 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For further information please consult http://www.novartis.com. countries around the world. For further information please consult http://www.novartis.com.