Biotechnology sector now more optimistic
assessment of the future business situation
Increase in jobs
The sector hopes
for improvements in political parameters
Cautious development of
investments in research
German biotechnology companies are looking more optimistically to the future once again. This was shown in a survey conducted by the Biotechnology Industry Organisation of Germany, BIO Deutschland, in cooperation with the sector journal, |transkript, the results of which were presented at a press conference in Berlin today.
Almost half of German biotech companies (47%) believes that the future business situation will be more favourable. Last year only a third (33%) indicated this. Simultaneously, the number of pessimistic companies, which expected that their economic situation would deteriorate, decreased from 18% in 2009 to just 7% this year. The assessment of their current situation has remained stable in comparison with the previous year. According to the results of the survey, the increase in the number of jobs in the sector will continue to accelerate: 55.6% of the companies indicated that they planned to hire staff again. At the beginning of 2009, this percentage was just 50.3%. Only every one in twenty companies (4.6%) expects to have to make staff redundant. The majority (52.2%) of the sector expects that the climate, that is, the political and economic parameters, will improve once again. During 2009, the tax deployment of loss carry forward was made more difficult under the terms of the Corporate Tax Reform Act. In addition, many venture capital investors withdrew from Germany, which led to a drop in corporate finance. This was reflected in the willingness to invest on the part of biotechnology companies, which mostly focus heavily on research: only 38.5% planned to increase their expenditure in this area (2009: 40.7%).
Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, summarised the situation as follows: "The innovative strength of German biotechnology companies must not merely be maintained - it must also be increased. Investors and companies are waiting for a political signal. We need improvements in the tax rebate capacity of R&D expenditure and we demand an unlimited retention of the loss carry forward and the granting of tax credits to innovative companies."
Dr Patrick Dieckhoff, Editor of |transkript, stated, "The German biotechnology sector demonstrated amazing powers of resistance last year despite the difficult situation. We did not witness a wave of redundancies or bankruptcies. Unlike the situation at the end of the previous year, the extent of the crisis now seems to be calculable for many biotech companies. Many are now seeing light at the end of the tunnel."