Lek in Lendava opens the largest Novartis investment in Slovenia ever

  • The investment in the construction of a new logistic system for the Lendava Packaging Center amounted to more than 24 million Euros. Over the last 10 years, Novartis has invested more than 110 million Euros in the development and modernization of production capacities at the Lendava site.
  • The production volume at the Lendava Packaging Center has been continuously growing, with an average annual growth rate of over 35%. At the same time, the number of associates is also growing – in the first half of this year we employed more than 20 new associates. If everything goes according to plan, we will employ additionally the same number by the end of the year.
  • Already at the planning stage this investment had to meet, as all Novartis investments, high Novartis standards with regard to environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. Final packaging of solid pharmaceutical products and their storage are not a source of major environmental burden.
16. 9. 2015

Today, at the Lendava site of Lek, a Sandoz company, a new, state-of-the-art packaging center was officially opened in the presence of Simonetta Sommaruga, the President of the Swiss Confederation, and Miro Cerar, PhD, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia. Lendava Packaging Center is one of two strategic Sandoz packing centers and will, in line with the strategy, dynamically grow further.

The Lendava Packaging Center is designed to supply more than 60 markets with medicines from Sandoz production sites around the world. It has been in operation since 2009, and by building a new, state-of-the-art and fully automated high-bay warehouse, low-bay warehouse and a logistic bridge connecting the warehousing part with the existing production facility and by expanding packaging production capacity, its capacity has been increasing significantly.

»Due to an increased demand for packaging of medicines and due to the outstanding and reliable work of our employees, Novartis decided to make a new investment in Lendava, which is the largest single investment made by Novartis in Slovenia so far. Over 24 million Euros have been invested in the construction of the new packaging center. In total, Novartis has invested more than 55 million Euros in the Lendava Packaging Center, and more than 110 million Euros at the Lendava site overall,« explained Vojmir Urlep, President of the Board of Management of Lek, a Sandoz company, at the opening ceremony.

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, congratulated all on the opening of the new facility, stressing the importance of Swiss investments in Slovenia and highlighting the corporate responsibility of private companies. At the event she met with the management and associates of Lek, a Sandoz company.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Miro Cerar, PhD, stressed that today’s inauguration of the new packaging center is a confirmation of the successful work carried out to date, highlighting the quality and efficiency of Lek and all of its employees. For Lendava, the broader Pomurje region and Slovenia however, this investment represents a strong potential for further development, new jobs and is a significant proof that Slovenia is an attractive location for foreign investment.

Production volume and number of associates are growing

Since its opening in 2009, the production volume at the Lendava Packaging Center has been constantly growing. The annual growth exceeds an average of 35%. From being brought into operation until now, a total of over 280 million packaging units were supplied to more than 60 markets around world.

Along with the increased production capacity the number of associates has also grown – at the time of being brought into operation in 2009, the Lendava Packaging Center employed 35 associates, today it has more than 250 associates.

Technological innovation for environmental efficiency

Already at the planning stage this investment had to meet, as with all Novartis investments, the high Novartis standards with regard to environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. An expert evaluation of environmental impact was made for the new warehouse and expansion of production capacity. Packaging of final solid pharmaceutical products and their storage are not a source of major environmental burden.

All investment projects at Lek, a Sandoz company, are accompanied by technological innovation and process improvements which also applies to the new Lendava Packaging Center. All air-conditioning systems in the new premises utilize the heat from the so-called waste air. There are integrated systems that utilize heat recovery from steam condensate and high-efficiency water coolers. All energy devices are equipped with frequency regulators which adjust energy consumption according to current needs. The so-called stand-by systems with the option of economic consumption of energy are also integrated. All energy and air-conditioning systems are controlled by a central control system providing additional energy savings.

Planning and implementation of the new facility are the result of local knowledge

The construction of the new logistic system started in September 2014 and was completed in a record time of just 11 months, in August 2015. The facility is 113 m long, 41 m wide and 31 m high. The logistic bridge is 65 m long. The high-bay warehouse has 11,300 pallet spaces.

The conceptual design of the warehouse and construction projects were accomplished entirely in Slovenia using local know-how. Six main contractors with 18 subcontractors were engaged in the building process. In total, around 210 workers were involved in the execution of the whole project.

All equipment suppliers are Slovenian except for the manufacturer of the three high-bay lifts, Swisslog, which is a Swiss company.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of key pillars of the second-largest generic pharmaceutical company globally. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a leading global development center for technologically demanding products and technologies; a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines; a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products; a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biosimilar products; and, a supply center for the markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South East Europe (SEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and it is responsible for sales on the Slovenian market. For further information please visit http://www.lek.si/en.

Sandoz, a division of Novartis, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals, driving sustainable access to high-quality healthcare. Sandoz employs more than 26,000 people worldwide and supplies a broad range of affordable products to patients and customers around the globe.
The Sandoz global portfolio comprises approximately 1,100 molecules, which accounted for 2014 sales of USD 9.6 billion. Sandoz holds the global #1 position in biosimilars as well as in generic anti-infectives, ophthalmics and transplantation medicines. Sandoz also holds leading global positions in key therapeutic areas ranging from generic injectables, dermatology and respiratory to cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, pain and gastrointestinal.
Sandoz develops, produces and markets finished dosage form (FDF) medicines as well as intermediary products including active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and biotechnological substances. Nearly half of the Sandoz portfolio is in differentiated products – medicines that are scientifically more difficult to develop and manufacture than standard generics.
In addition to strong organic growth since consolidating its generics businesses under the Sandoz brand name in 2003, Sandoz has consistently driven growth in selected geographies and differentiated product areas through a series of targeted acquisitions, including Hexal (Germany), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US).
Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global.

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and over-the-counter products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group achieved net sales of USD 58.0 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 130,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.com.

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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.

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