Persen fastest growing brand in its category in the Russian Federation – Immunal recognized as key product in its segment

Superbrand award for Immunal and Persen in the Russian Federation

5. 2. 2007

Ljubljana, February 5 – The Immunal and Persen brands received Superbrand award at a ceremony in Moscow last week. The award is given to the strongest brands in more than 55 countries around the world, based on sales volume and brand awareness. The award-winning brands are among the five leading products that Sandoz markets in the Russian Federation under the Lek brand.

In each country councel of leading experts made up of luminaries from the marketing communication industries plus notable figures from local and international blue chip companies and media organisations confer Superbrand awards to the strongest brands on the basis of market research. The awards are given out every year, and the company issues a publication about the brands and their success stories. Russia joined the project in 2005.

The expert councel, led by President of the Russian Association of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs and President of the State Economics University Aleksander Šohin, conferred awards to 45 brands this year, and the winners included only three pharmaceutical companies: Lek, Polish firm Polfa and Jansen-Cillag. The market analyses on the basis of which the award-winning brands were chosen were performed by the highly reputed ACNielsen and COMCON research agencies.

Sandoz, which appears on the Russian market under the Lek trademark, is one of the leading suppliers of generic and OTC pharmaceuticals in the Russian Federation, and it further strengthened the position of its brands on the market in 2006. An appropriate marketing strategy, and successful cooperation with distributors, pharmacists and doctors, who gave the quality of our service high marks, produced good results.

Brand awareness of Immunal in the target group was 33 percent. The media strategy enabled Immunal to become a key product in its field among both consumers and healthcare professionals.

Immunal’s sales dynamics according to data from the RMBC research agency (comparison of 12 months and the same preceding periods) are: USD 8.7 m (first three quarters 2004 and last quarter 2003), USD 10.6 m (first three quarters 2005 and last quarter 2004), which means that sales during this period grew by 22%, and USD 12.7 m (first three quarters 2006 and last quarter 2005), which means that we posted 19-percent sales growth during this period.

In promoting the Persen brand, the basic message was that you have to remain calm in stressful situations, of which there are many in modern life. A TV spot entitled The Lion Tamer was particularly effective, as it clearly demonstrated the value of the medicine. Despite stiffer competition, Persen’s market share increased in 2006. The medicine maintained its leading position in its segment and became the fastest-growing brand in its category.

According to data from the RMBC research agency (comparison of 12 months and the same preceding periods), the sales dynamics of Persen are: USD 3.8 m (first three quarters 2004 and last quarter 2003), USD 6.3 m (first three quarters 2005 and last quarter 2004), which means that sales during this period grew by 67%, and USD 9.1 m (first three quarters 2006 and last quarter 2005), which means that we posted 44-percent sales growth during this period.

The success of both medicines on the Russian market demonstrates that we are fulfilling our basic mission – to provide people with high-quality, safe and effective drugs which help to preserve and improve people’s health.

“Some say it’s the quality of the product, while others say it’s a correctly chosen marketing strategy. This is of course important, but in my opinion it’s the people who are the most important. The people who come up with the ideas and put them into practice. We are proud to have formed an excellent team of professionals. Receiving the Superbrand awards is further proof that we are moving in the right direction. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone,” said Head of the OTC Department of Lek, a Sandoz company in Russia Robert Trnovšek upon receiving the awards, on the reasons for success.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. It operates as a global development center for products and technologies, as a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines, as a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products, as a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products and as a supply center for the markets of CEE, SEE and CIS, sales Slovenia and sales services for Sandoz’s global markets. Lek d.d. employs about 2,820 people and achieved total sales of USD 904 million in 2006. For further information please consult

Sandoz, a Division of the Novartis group, is a global leader in the field of generic pharmaceuticals, offering a wide array of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of more than 840 active substances in over 5 000 forms worldwide. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these drugs along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to the strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany) and EonLabs (U.S.) and sells its products in more than 110 countries. In 2006, Sandoz employed around 21,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 6 billion.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure disease and improve well-being. Our goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and enhance the quality of life. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in both patented and generic pharmaceuticals. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics and leading self-medication OTC brands. In 2006, the Group’s businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion and net income of USD 7.2 billion. Approximately USD 5.4 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 101,000 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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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.

For further information contact:
Katarina Klemenc Dinjaški
Corporate Communications
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Phone: + 386 1 580 22 43
Fax: + 386 1 580 24 32