Consumer Health To Play A Pivotal Role In Merck's Africa Growth Strategy

DARMSTADT, Germany, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

- Consumer Health at the forefront of Merck's plans to considerably expand on the
African continent over the next five years
- 2016 will be an investment year in selected African countries for Merck's Consumer
Health business, with a focus on its global strategic brands Seven Seas, Nasivin and

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today outlined the role its Consumer Health business will play within the company's new Africa growth strategy. Merck, which has been delivering healthcare services in Africa since 1897, unveiled an ambitious objective to more than double sales in Africa to about EUR 500 million by 2020, during an Executive Board visit to ten African countries in November 2015. As part of this strategy, 2016 will be a year of investment in selected African countries for Merck's Consumer Health business. Among others, the company plans to focus on its well-known global strategic brands such as Seven Seas(R), Nasivin(R) and Neurobion(R) on the continent. Focusing on innovation and access to health, Merck's Consumer Health business is expected to play a pivotal role in Merck's commitment to supporting healthy families, healthy communities and healthy economies in Africa.

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Uta Kemmerich-Keil, President and CEO of the Consumer Health business of Merck, commented: "The Healthcare business sector is at the forefront of Merck's growth strategy for Africa, and our Consumer Health business is fully committed to creating health awareness on the continent and responding to the unmet consumer needs of the fast rising African population."

Beyond Zero campaign in Kenya 

In Kenya, Consumer Health's trusted and innovative brand Seven Seas is already playing an instrumental role by supporting the 2016 Beyond Zero campaign, an initiative led by Kenya's First Lady, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, to actively fight malnutrition. In a country where 35% of children are stunted, Seven Seas, a fish oil based supplement rich in Omega-3 nutrients, is actively tackling the issue of malnutrition. As part of its national support for the 2016 Beyond Zero campaign, Seven Seas is contributing more than 80 years of knowledge in sourcing the richness of the sea to support African children in meeting the recommended vitamin and Omega-3 intake to maintain their healthy physical and mental development.

Uta Kemmerich-Keil added: "We are taking the lead in promoting personal health and good nutrition to create stronger generations in Kenya, by launching the communications campaign "Together for Stronger Generations". The campaign is aimed at empowering people to build stronger individuals, communities and society as a whole by raising public awareness on malnutrition. Moving forward, our portfolio of prescription free over-the-counter pharmaceutical products is perfectly positioned to help address the needs of the African people. Our Nasivin and Neurobion brands will soon join Seven Seas in supporting healthy families, healthy communities and healthy economies in Africa."

Solid growth of global Consumer Health business 

Merck's Consumer Health business, which is expected to contribute significantly in Merck's expansion on the African continent, reported in the first quarter of 2016 net global sales of EUR 215 million, indicating a 6.1% organic growth versus the year-earlier period, excluding one-time effects. Four out of six global strategic brands outperformed versus last year with Neurobion, Dolo-Neurobion(R), Nasivin(R) and Femibion being the key contributors. Key geographies with strong growth momentum were Chile, Peru and Brazil for Latin America, as well as Indonesia, India and Thailand for Asia Pacific.

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About Merck's Consumer Health Business 

Brands of the Consumer Health business, such as Neurobion(R), Bion(R), Nasivin(R), Seven Seas(R), Dolo-Neurobion(R), and Femibion(R) are innovative leaders in key markets, backed by science and trusted by consumers worldwide. The Consumer Health business is with over 3,700 employees globally active in over 40 markets. The portfolio comprises of brands with annual total sales of about $ 1 billion. Consumer Health is a business of the Healthcare business sector within the Merck Group with global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

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About Merck 

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck generated sales of EUR 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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