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THE ARES-SERONO GROUP REPORTS CONTINUED SALES GROWTH IN 1992

 BOSTON, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ares-Serono Group today reported worldwide sales of U.S. $854.6 (SFr 1.196 billion) for the year ending Dec. 31, 1992, compared with $732.1 million last year, an increase of 16.7 percent. These figures exclude the contribution of the OTC division which was sold in the first quarter of 1992. Excluding favorable currency fluctuations, sales growth for the year was 15 percent.
 Pharmaceutical sales for the year increased by 20.3 percent to $751.5 million from $624.6 million in 1991. After adjusting for favorable currency fluctuations, the growth in sales of pharmaceutical products was 18.6 percent.
 Sales in each of the Group's three main therapeutic areas -- infertility, immunology and pediatric endocrinology -- increased by almost 20 percent over the previous year. The Group reinforced its leading position in the human infertility market and sales of Frone(R), Ares-Serono's native beta-interferon, continued to be strong. Sales of Saizen(R), a recombinant human growth hormone, were especially strong and benefited from first sales in Japan.
 "On a geographical basis, significant sales growth continued in the United States and Japan," said Fabio Bertarelli, chief executive officer of The Ares-Serono Group. "In Europe, fourth quarter sales were negatively influenced by the devaluation of the Italian lira and the Spanish peseta."
 Bertarelli continued: "Despite strains on governmental reimbursement schemes in Italy, Ares-Serono's Italian subsidiary is now the seventh largest pharmaceutical company in the country, achieving more than double the growth rate of the Italian pharmaceutical industry in 1992."
 In 1992, 80 additional drug registrations were obtained worldwide.
 In the diagnostic division, sale decreased slightly from $106.6 million to $101.8 million. Excluding clinical chemistry sales, which were discontinued in 1992 in order to improve the division's gross margin, diagnostic sales increased 5 percent over the previous period. Sales of the hematology product line grew by 9 percent and SR-1(R) instruments and reagents increased by 44 percent.
 On March 31, 1992, the OTC (over-the-counter) division of Ares- Serono was sold to Home Products Italiana S.p.A., the italian subsidiary of American Home Products. The OTC division accounted for less than 3 percent of Ares-Serono's total sales.
 The Ares-Serono Group employed 3,936 people at the end of 1992, compared with 3,973 at the end of 1991.
 The Ares-Serono Group is a leading Swiss developer and marketer of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products with executive headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and operating headquarters in Boston. The group operates subsidiaries and manufacturing facilities in more than 20 countries. Shares of Ares-Serono S.A., the parent company of the group are listed in the major Swiss stock exchanges.
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Gina Cella of Ares-Serono, 617-982-9000/


CO: Ares-Serono ST: Massachusetts IN: SU: ERN

CH -- NE019 -- 6469 01/19/93 15:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 19, 1993
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