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Legal and economic factors

The life-saving and life-sustaining products and therapies that the Group offers are of intrinsic importance for people worldwide. Therefore our markets are fundamentally stable and relatively independent of economic cycles. Our markets are expanding, mainly for three reasons:

  • demographic trends,
  • demand for innovative therapies in the industrialized countries, and
  • increasing availability of high-quality health care in the developing and newly industrializing countries.

Furthermore, the diversification across four business segments and our global reach provides additional stability for the Group.

The statement of income and the balance sheet can be influenced by currency translation effects as a result of exchange rate fluctuations, especially in the rate of the U.S. dollar to the euro. In 2012, this had a positive effect on the statement of income due to the altered average annual exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the euro of 1.28 in 2012 as compared to 1.39 in 2011. The changed spot rate of 1.32 as of December 31, 2012 – compared to 1.29 as of December 31, 2011 – had only a minor effect on the balance sheet.

There were no legal aspects that significantly affected business performance in 2012.

On the whole, the legal and economic factors for the Fresenius Group were largely unchanged, so the Group’s operating business was not materially affected.