Merck Mulls Making Products in Africa as Regional Revenue Rises

  • Africa revenue may more than double to about EU500 mln by 2020
  • Company plans more distribution partnerships on continent

Merck KGaA, Germany’s second-largest publicly traded pharmaceutical company, will consider making some products in Africa to sell locally as it seeks to more than double revenue from the continent to about 500 million euros ($534 million) by 2020.

The drugmaker also plans to add jobs, offices and distribution partnerships, Chief Executive Officer Karl-Ludwig Kley said in a phone interview from Johannesburg on Friday. The Darmstadt-based company has about 400 employees in 10 African countries and plans to increase that to about 1,000 by 2020, he said.

Karl-Ludwig Kley
Karl-Ludwig Kley
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

“Our products require people on the ground with expertise,” Kley said. The company plans to boost sales of its Life Science products, which include its Muse HIV virus-testing device, in Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, and Angola.

Merck, a family controlled company founded in 1668, started selling the Muse device in Africa this week, Kley said. Merck may expand the use of the device to monitor malaria, he said.

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