When we started BioGaia more than 30 years ago, our motto was ‘do good and have fun’. With this attitude as our guiding light we have developed into a world-leading probiotics company at the forefront of microbiome research with safe, effective and consumer-friendly products on the market.

PETER ROTHSCHILD, FOUNDER

Key figures (%)

Sales by market and segment

Sales divided between the business areas child health and adult health

Annual sales past 5 years (SEKm)

0 %
Proportion own brand and co-branding

Key events 2020

1 2 3 4

Quarter

BioGaia signs exclusive agreement with the company Ethical Nutrition for sales of BioGaia Protectis drops and tablets in Argentina

Study published showing that BioGaia’s probiotic for oral health L. reuteri Prodentis, reduces bleeding of the gums

2 2 3 4

Quarter

BioGaia’s Board revises its dividend proposal

3 2 3 4

Quarter

Study published showing that L. reuteri Protectis reduces pain in children with functional abdominal pain (FAP).

BioGaia’s Board withdraws its proposal regarding an extra dividend

4 2 3 4

Quarter

BioGaia carries out a directed new share issue of 2.86 million class B shares, raising proceeds for the company of SEK 1.1 billion

BioGaia warns of reduced sales due to Covid-19

BioGaia Group

(number of employees December 2020)

BioGaia AB (96)

BioGaia Biologics Inc.
100% subsidiary
(2)

BioGaia Japan Inc.
100% subsidiary
(24)

BioGaia Pharma
96% subsidiary
(2)

BioGaia Production
100% subsidiary
(29)

MetaboGen AB
92% subsidiary
(7)

Company presentation

Mission
BioGaia’s mission is to be the ground-breaking leader in probiotics and contribute to improved health by educating people and providing probiotic products for defined indications.

Values
Innovation
Collaboration
Passion

Parent Company BioGaia AB’s class B shares
are listed on the Mid Cap segment of the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Stockholm Exchange.

Positioning
Food supplements with clinically-tested, high-quality probiotics that are sold through pharmacies and via online retail platforms. In most markets the products are recommended by doctors or other healthcare professionals. However, BioGaia is also meeting rising demand directly from consumers.

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

DIGITALISATION MAJOR POTENTIAL FOR BIOGAIA

The probiotics market is changing fast. Consolidation of a fairly fragmented market is taking place and the major players are actively acquiring small probiotic companies with promising products. A number of new, major companies such as Kerry, ADM and Novozymes have entered the extremely hot probiotics market.

Peter Rothschild, Chairman of the Board
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MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

BIOGAIA UPS THE PACE – WITH THE CONSUMER IN FOCUS

2020 was a different year. For many, both people and companies, it was of course a difficult year but there are also many positive aspects worth highlighting. Above all, there are many lessons to learn and by taking these onboard and adapting our business accordingly, I am convinced that they will strengthen us as a company over time.

Isabelle Ducellier, CEO
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MESSAGE FROM MANAGING DIRECTORS, SUBSIDIARIES

Sara Malcus
Sara Malcus

MetaboGen’s research focuses on the microbiome and finding unique opportunities that can be developed into the next generation of probiotic products.

Sara Malcus​​, Managing Director, MetaboGen
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Peter Persson
Peter Persson

BioGaia Production is critical for BioGaia’s operations. A large proportion of our most important product, drops, is manufactured here.

Peter Persson, Managing Director, BioGaia Production
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Keitaro Nomura
Keitaro Nomura

The Covid-19 pandemic had a very big impact on the Japanese economy. The number of patient visits to clinics and hospitals decreased sharply and fell to approximately 50% in July 2020 compared to the previous year

Keitaro Nomura, Managing Director, BioGaia Japan
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Nigel Titford
Nigel Titford

BioGaia Pharma is a subsidiary of BioGaia. This means we can benefit from 30 years’ experience of research within the microbiota when we develop the biological product category which the FDA in the USA calls Live Biotherapeutic Products, which refers to pharmaceutical products that stem from the microbiota.

Nigel Titford, Managing Director, BioGaia Pharma
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BioGaia 30 år

BIOGAIA 30 YEARS

BioGaia is a Swedish world-leading probiotic company that has been at the forefront of microbiome research for more than 30 years. BioGaia develops, markets and sells probiotic products with documented health benefits. The company operates throughout the value chain partly through the company and partly through global networks of leading, independent researchers and specialists, production experts and local distribution partners. The distribution partners are nutrition and pharmaceutical companies which sell BioGaia’s products in more than 100 countries.

BioGaia’s products contain strains of the lactic acid bacterium L. reuteri (Limosilactobacillus reuteri, formerly known as Lactobacillus reuteri). L. reuteri is one of few bacteria that has developed in symbiosis with humans. Due to this it naturally colonises and has a strong adaptation and interacts with us. Results from clinical studies with BioGaia’s probiotic strains have been published in more than 200 articles in scientific journals, proving that they are effective and safe in children and adults.

BioGaia wants to contribute to better health in the world by developing and offering clinically-proven and user-friendly probiotic products.

1990

Founded by Peter Rothschild and Jan Annwall

1998

IPO on Nasdaq Stockholm

2000

BioGaia launches world’s first probiotic chewable tablets
Agreement with Ascendis (South Africa)

2002

BioGaia Production founded

2003

Agreement with Nóos (Italy)

2004

BioGaia launches the world’s first probiotic drops
Agreement with Verman (Finland)

2020

Directed new issue makes EQT Public Value and Cargill new major owners in BioGaia AB

2018

Foundation to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance founded

2017

Subsidiary BioGaia Pharma founded

2014

Agreement with Abbott (Latin America, Asia)
BioGaia invests in MetaboGen

2008

First agreement with Nestlé

2006

Agreement with Ewopharma AG (Eastern Europe) and Ferring (Middle East)
Subsidiary BioGaia Japan founded

BIOGAIA’S VALUE CHAIN

Click or hover to read more about BioGaia’s process through each step of the value chain

 

Research

Product
development

Raw
material use

Production

Packing

Distribution

Sales

In the supply chain, BioGaia takes care of logistics as well as quality assurance and control of products and production.

VALUE CREATION FOR BIOGAIA’S STAKEHOLDERS

Society
BioGaia contributes to society by being a good citizen and by offering products that contribute to improved health

SEK 49.7m in tax
SEK 3.7m to charities
Lower cost to society for ill health

Consumers
BioGaia offers consumers probiotic products that contribute to improved health.

5 new products, all without palm oil
46 product launches in new and existing markets

Employees
BioGaia offers its employees a meaningful and stimulating workplace where employees feel job satisfaction

40% women in Executive Management
1,9% sickness absence 2020 (BioGaia AB)
160 employees

Researchers
BioGaia contributes to increased knowledge of probiotics

14% of net sales to research and development
214 published articles (Dec 2020)
13,900 individuals have participated in studies (Dec 2020)

Stakeholders

Distributors
BioGaia builds long-term relationships with distributors and supports them within sales and marketing

90% have signed the Code of Conduct
7% average growth in past 5 years

Suppliers
BioGaia contributes to development of suppliers through long-term relationships and being a reliable partner

100% of key suppliers have signed the Code of Conduct

Shareholders
Through good risk management and a long-term strategy BioGaia offers a stable value appreciation for its shareholders

31% operating margin

MARKET TRENDS

During 2020 two trends in particular dominated the world: digitalisation and preventive health care with a focus on the immune system.

Sustainable companies are the future
Despite the pandemic, companies continued to invest in sustainability. Consumers and other stakeholders are becoming more and more aware and sustainability is increasingly a key requirement for purchases or collaboration.
 
Increased focus on sustainability
BioGaia is intensifying its work with sustainability and in 2020 took several key initiatives to ensure good business ethics, to improve environmental impact and offer a workplace that motivates and creates wellbeing.

Everyone talks about the immune system
The incentive to remain healthy and not be infected by Covid-19 has meant that interest in products that strengthen the immune system, including probiotics, has risen sharply. As an example, statistics show that the number of searches for ‘immune’ increased by more than 100% between June 2019 and June 2020 (Lumina Intelligence 2020). Awareness that probiotics, in particular in combination with vitamin D, have immune strengthening effects has also increased.
 
Upswing for probiotics with vitamin D
BioGaia has been offering probiotic products combined with vitamin D, which has positive effects on health, for several years.

Digitalisation at rocket speed
Lockdowns and restrictions on physical meetings have led people to investigate the digital alternatives. Groups of people who previously never used this technology have been tempted – or forced – to go digital. This transition has also been very fast and in many cases become ‘the new normal’.
 
BioGaia’s digital journey
Like so many other companies, BioGaia has where possible transitioned to a smoothly functioning digital operation, both internally and externally. Together with distribution partners in more than 100 countries, a large number of webinars and virtual production launches have been arranged. BioGaia has also intensified the work of making its products available online.

PAR Foundation

Development of antibiotic resistance is not taking time out
The focus on the pandemic has overshadowed another future global catastrophe, galloping antibiotic resistance. According to field reports and surveys from WHO/Europe, there is a risk of an increased spread of antibiotic resistance in Europe since erroneous use of antibiotics has increased as a result of the pandemic.
 
More probiotics, fewer antibiotics
Due to their immune-strengthening effects probiotics can play a key role in the fight against antibiotic resistance. A study published in the European Journal of Public Health shows for example a correlation between intake of BioGaia’s probiotic L. reuteri DSM 17938 and a reduced need of antibiotics for children.
 
The foundation started by BioGaia in 2017 makes a financial contribution to research and information about measures that reduce the need for antibiotics. In 2021, funds will be distributed to projects with a focus on preventive measures in elderly people.

DIGITALISATION AND CONSUMER FOCUS THE WAY FORWARD

Linda Hägglund, Marketing Manager and Johannes Asplund, Global Digital Business Manager will target the consumers.

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NEW MEMBERS OF BIOGAIA’S
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BioGaia is looking to the future and has strengthened the Board with valuable skills and experience from relevant sectors and areas.

Through my sound experience in the field of sustainability from one of the really major players and in an industry of great complexity and high pace, I hope to be able to contribute with strategic sustainability thinking, innovative creation and guidance in governance-related issues.

Vanessa Rothschild
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I hope I can contribute with the speed and energy from the start-up world. Thanks to my operational job, I will be able to contribute with expertise but also with my global network to continue building BioGaia’s digital channels with a focus on increased brand awareness and a strong positioning, where D2C will be a driving channel in BioGaia’s journey going forward.

Maryam Ghahremani
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I believe that BioGaia can benefit from an owner like EQT, a global investor with broad experience of companies within healthcare, with a large network of advisers as well as resources within sustainability and digitalisation. I have experience of work on international boards and driving fast change programmes and growth in medium-sized companies. My role as a member of the Board, and EQT’s role as owner, is to support BioGaia’s continued development, increase the growth rate and benefit from EQT’s resources in this work.

Niklas Ringby
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PRODUCTS IN 100 COUNTRIES

BioGaia’s products are clinically-tested, high-quality probiotics sold by pharmacies and via online platforms worldwide. The product range includes oil drops, chewable tablets and lozenges, capsules and oral rehydration solution (ORS). In most countries the products are registered as a food supplement.

Paediatrics account for almost 80% of total sales and the largest product is BioGaia Protectis drops.

2020 saw the launch of five products in new variants – without palm oil

Four products for children
BioGaia Protectis drops
BioGaia Protectis drops with 10 µg vitamin D
BioGaia Protectis tablets with strawberry flavour
BioGaia Protectis tablets with orange flavour and 10 µg vitamin D

…and one for adults
BioGaia Protectis tablets with orange flavour and 20 µg vitamin D

BioGaia Protectis Immune Active

Interest in products that strengthen the immune system has increased substantially, mainly due to the pandemic and a desire not to become infected by Covid-19. In pace with this, awareness that probiotics, in particular in combination with vitamin D, have immune-strengthening effects has increased among consumers.

In spring 2021 Everidis, BioGaia’s partner in the USA, will launch

BioGaia Protectis Baby Drops Immune Active, with 15 µg/600 IU vitamin D3
BioGaia Protectis Tablets Immune Active, with 20 µg/800 IU vitamin D3
BioGaia Protectis Capsules Immune Active, with 50 µg/2 000 IU vitamin D3

Two line extensions were also launched during the year, BioGaia Prodentis Mum, an oral health product for pregnant and nursing women, and BioGaia Prodentis Kids, an oral health product for children. Both products were launched in Japan and the USA.

Phase-out of palm oil

BioGaia is making active efforts to phase out palm oil from products that previously contained this ingredient. At the end of 2020, approximately 63% (35%) of the product range was available in variants without palm oil. By 2023, all products will be offered in variants without palm oil and by 2025 BioGaia will no longer sell products containing palm oil. The task of phasing out palm oil is challenging since BioGaia must ensure that the transition does not compromise the products’ quality or stability. With sales in over 100 countries, phasing out also takes time.

Free from

More and more consumers are demanding products free from allergens. During the year, BioGaia complemented its documentation to meet EU requirements and can now offer Protectis drops and tablets (with and without vitamin D) and capsules free from gluten, lactose and milk protein. BioGaia Protectis capsules are also vegan.

Life cycle

A new life-cycle assessment was carried out during the year where both packaging and product ingredients were assessed. The assessment, which was more extensive than the life-cycle assessment performed in 2013, gives BioGaia a better understanding of the company’s environmental impact. A tool has also been developed which allows the results from the assessment to be integrated into the product development process.

PRODUCTS IN 100 COUNTRIES​

BIOGAIA MAKES KEY INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION WITH A NEW DIGITAL PLATFORM

Education is one of the cornerstones of BioGaia’s operations. Already in the 1990s seminars were arranged at trade fairs for doctors and other healthcare professionals, which today are an established and extensive activity. In parallel with this type of education another, more in-depth form of training has been developed.

Charlotta Grahn, Corporate Marketing Manager Education and Events at BioGaia and responsible for BioGaia Academy, describes the initiative.

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NEWS FROM THE RESEARCH FRONT

BioGaia Protectis reduces abdominal pain in children

Since the primary outcome was not achieved, we cannot draw any firm conclusions from our meta-analysis. But despite this we can conclude that L. reuteri DSM 17938 can be effective in reducing pain intensity and increasing the number of days without pain in children suffering from functional abdominal pain

Iva Hojsak, Children’s Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia
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BioGaia Prodentis reduces bleeding of the gums

A supplement of L. reuteri lozenges is an efficacious and easily implementable measure to maintain or improve periodontal health in medically healthy persons with limited access to personal oral hygiene

Department of Periodontology, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany
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New key milestone for MetaboGen

BioGaia’s subsidiary MetaboGen works with developing the next generation of probiotic products. The focus is on metabolic conditions, primarily diabetes and related illnesses.

Following positive results from the initial clinical study of the strains Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (DSM 32379) and Desulfovibrio piger (DSM 32187), MetaboGen has now received approval from the ethics committee to start its next clinical study. The study will include people with prediabetes and is planned to start during 2021.

MetaboGen has studied women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

Together with pharmaceutical company Ferring Pharmaceuticals, BioGaia’s subsidiary MetaboGen has carried out a study on women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), a condition that annually affects around 400,000 women worldwide.

The study, which is explorative, was carried out in collaboration with Kvinnokliniken in Lund and Södersjukhuset in Stockholm and included 100 women. The results will be presented in 2021.

LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS – EQUALLY IMPORTANT IN A DIGITAL CONTEXT

Many of our consumers are aware and seek information themselves before buying their product.

URBAN STRINDLÖV, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT SALES
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Sales by geographical market, SEKm

Through a focus on Protectis tablets with vitamin D, good stock levels and high involvement of midwives, PediAct saw a positive sales development in 2020 compared to 2019.

ANA PÉREZ SANZ, VICE PRESIDENT EMEA

Ingrid Messerer
Key Account Manager Northern Europe

Born in Germany, lives in Stockholm, Sweden

As part of the strategy to build a strong consumer brand, at the end of the year we launched BioGaia Osfortis and BioGaia Prodentis under our own brand in Sweden.

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Kim Prinsloo
Key Account Manager Africa

Born in South Africa, lives in Port Elisabeth, South Africa

South Africa is BioGaia’s most important market in Africa – and one of our ten top markets globally – and the loss of sales therefore had a significant impact on us. Despite the country being back on partial lockdown, Ascendis’s sales are now on the right track.

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Among the six largest probiotic brands, BioGaia’s products were the only ones to increase sales in 2020 (in Brazil).

CRISTIÁN CONTRERAS R-T, VICE PRESIDENT LATIN AMERICA

Iván García
Regional Director Latin America

Born in Mexico, lives in Miami, USA

Together with our LatAm partners we arranged presentation training for doctors, made 14 digital launches and held over 50 webinars during the year. BioGaia Protectis with vitamin D is now available in nearly all markets.

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Joakim Annwall
Regional Director BioGaia Biologics Inc.

Born in Sweden, lives in Miami, USA

The business model of our partner Everidis, which focuses on online rather than traditional pharmacy sales, has proved both reliable and highly successful during the pandemic.

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As in so many other countries, Japanese society in its entirety was in lockdown for long periods in 2020. Since our sales mainly take place in dental clinics, and these were closed, we had to adapt quickly and move physical meetings to digital channels.

JONAS WEIMER, VICE PRESIDENT APAC

Hok Ting Yau
Regional Manager and Office Head APAC

Born in Hong Kong, lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and in Singapore

Together with our partners in China we continue to work on strengthening our digital presence,” says Ting. “We are also planning to extend the portfolio by launching more products. BioGaia’s strategy for remaining competitive is our unique combination of leading-edge skills and the omnichannel strategy.

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Tunç Kurtoğlu
Key Account Manager Turkey, Israel, North Africa and Middle East

Born in Turkey, lives in Stockholm, Sweden

Our partner Eczacibasi plans to launch BioGaia Gastrus and Prodentis during 2021 and with the broader portfolio we expect increased sales in Turkey in 2021.

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RESPONSIBILITY AND CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Four focus areas for sustainability

BioGaia looks beyond the direct health benefits of the products and includes the company’s impact on the health of society as a whole and the health of our planet.

The UN’s sustainable development goal ‘Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages’ is the basis of BioGaia’s business. But sustainability work also includes action to reduce environmental impact and ensure an ethical approach and behaviour in everything the company does.

To ensure that sustainability initiatives remain relevant and focused in those areas where BioGaia can make the most difference, a continuous dialogue is held with stakeholders about these issues. During the year, the company’s sustainability strategy has been further developed and key steps were taken for increased sustainability work.

Greenhouse gas
reporting developed
and updated for 2020

100% renewable
electricity for all the
Group’s operations
in Sweden

A target is set to reduce
emissions from travel
by 30% with 2019
as base year

Everyone in the
BioGaia Group
attended training
in anti-corruption

New life-cycle assessment and
life-cycle tool to calculate
environmental impacts
from products

Whistleblower service
implemented

SEK 3.7 million
to community
involvement

New more sustainable products launched – vegan capsules, tablets and drops without palm oil and free from milk protein, gluten and lactose

Internal
Code of Conduct
implemented

BioGaia climate compensates
for its emissions for
both 2019 and 2020

BioGaia now reports
in accordance with the
GRI Standards: core option

Healthy products

It is fundamental that the products are safe and meet consumers’ expectations. Quality is a key factor, from ensuring that research on product benefits is reliable to guaranteeing that the product retains its high quality when it reaches consumers.

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A healthy business

BioGaia’s values are the cornerstones of the business and help to ensure that all employees embrace the highest standards in everything the company does. Ensuring good business ethics, taking a clear stand on respect for human rights and accepting responsibility for the environmental impact of the company’s operations are fundamental and highlighted in BioGaia’s Code of Conduct.

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Healthy networks

BioGaia’s international networks of researchers, suppliers and distributors are key to the business model. A large part of BioGaia’s impact and ability to make a difference comes from being able to influence and collaborate with partners in the value chain.

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A healthy workplace

BioGaia strives to promote a healthy environment in the workplace to enable the employees to thrive. By engaging and inspiring employees to be the best version of themselves, both employees and the business benefit.

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Community involvement

During 2020 BioGaia invested SEK 3.7 million to support organisations that work with health-promoting activities in areas that are linked to BioGaia’s business.

BioGaia continues to support the Foundation to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance (PAR), The Children’s Mission in the Philippines and Dr Denis Mukwege’s vital work at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2013, BioGaia has offset climate emissions, since 2020 by supporting Burn Manufacturing. An improved reporting function for carbon footprint in 2020 means that the company could not only compensate for emissions in 2019 but also for 2020 with a total of SEK 322,000.

childrens-missions3
Dr-Denis-Mukwege