Legal and economic factors

The markets of the Fresenius Group are fundamentally stable and relatively independent of economic cycles due to the intrinsic importance of the life-saving and life-sustaining products and treatments that the Group offers. The markets in which we offer our products and services are expanding, mainly for three reasons:

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

Furthermore, the diversification across four business segments 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 2010, this had a positive impact on the statement of income due to the altered average annual exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the euro of 1.33 in 2010 as compared to 1.39 in 2009. In the balance sheet, the changed spot rate of 1.34 as of December 31, 2010 – compared to 1.44 as of December 31, 2009 – had a marked impact.

There were no legal aspects that significantly affected business performance in 2010.

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.