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We will continue optimizing our procurement management in 2012: prices, terms, and especially quality are key factors for securing further earnings growth.

Based on recent developments in the financial and the real markets, we assume that price fluctuations will intensify despite an easing in the commodities markets in the short and medium term. Fresenius Medical Care will concentrate all the tools in the market strategy towards this, for example by networking more closely with strategic partners, by increasing the diversification of the supplier portfolio and using more flexible contracts. In 2012, Fresenius Medical Care will introduce the automated replenishment control into additional country warehouses in Europe.

For the beginning of 2012, we expect the prices for relevant raw materials of Fresenius Kabi to slightly decrease, including cardboard packaging, and a series of active pharmaceutical ingredients for IV drugs. The prices for glass, plastic granulates, and carbohydrates are expected to increase.

The premium for renewable energies will be increased once again in 2012. Consequently, our energy costs will increase from 2011 as well. The discussions about phasing out nuclear energy as well as the continued unrest in some African and Arabic countries have caused insecurity at the energy exchanges and increasing prices. We believe that this will continue, even though the European debt crisis initially caused slightly lower prices on the electricity exchange.

Global markets are influenced by many factors, and their developments are increasingly more difficult to predict. Natural disasters, political unrest, financial policy developments, or budget deficits in individual countries and regions now have a material impact. We aim to compensate these uncertainties by long-term sourcing strategies and purchasing agreements, in order to further guarantee security of supply based on a best-possible planning reliability. Our global procurement management will take advantage of all opportunities.

In 2012, the HELIOS Purchasing Department will integrate the recently acquired hospitals into the central procurement systems and the HELIOS purchasing concept. This applies to pharmacy, purchasing, medical technology, operating and administrative supplies, as well as catering. The newly acquired hospitals will quickly benefit from structures, standards, and terms. In 2012, changes in the food prices will not have a significant impact on the cost structure of the HELIOS hospitals, as their share in the overall procurement volume and therefore in total costs is insignificant.

We had already contracted our electricity supplies until October 31, 2012, in 2010. As a consequence, the highly volatile price development at the European Energy Exchange EXX did not affect us. However, we aim to disengage ourselves from these market price developments by switching the energy carriers. HELIOS plans to switch all clinics to partially renewable energy-based heat generation over the long term. Six clinics already produce energy from a biomass boiler (wood pellets). Further clinics will follow in 2012.

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