Severin Schwan in conversation with the AVR

After 2 years of virtual meetings, the traditional discussion was able to take place on site again this year. Due to the pending change at the head of Roche, Mr. Severin Schwan was accompanied by his successor Mr. Thomas Schinecker.

As usual at this meeting, Mr. Schwan presented the financials and explained the successes and setbacks that occurred in 2022.

Overall, the targets for 2022 were achieved. Sales of the newly launched medicines as well as the basic diagnostics business grew strongly, offsetting the declining covid business and the continued emergence of biosimilars. Mr. Schwan highlighted in particular the successful launch of the new eye medicine Vabysmo. At the same time, there were setbacks in late-stage drug development with the negative study results for tiragolumab (cancer) and gantenerumab (Alzheimer's disease). These results are currently being analysed in order to make adjustments for future development programs, if necessary. Despite the negative readouts in 2022, however, the company is looking forward with confidence to the results of further studies that are currently underway.

As far as the outlook for 2023 is concerned, sales are expected to decline in sales in the low single-digit range. Although the company expects its base business to continue to develop strongly in the current year, sales declines in the covid business will now accelerate sharply with the end of the pandemic.

After this review and outlook, it was time for the AVR's questions. On this occasion, the AVR was able to deepen the discussion with Mr. Schwan and Mr. Schinecker regarding the upcoming changes in the Corporate Executive Committee. Important HR topics, such as Roche's contributions to Diversity & Inclusion and Work Life Balance, were also discussed. In addition, the efforts regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions and the related reduction of travel activities were addressed. Most recenlty, the focus was on further investments in research and development, which are expected to grow further by 4% in 2023. This is extremely important for the site and underlines Roche's commitment to innovation. In order to be able to continue releasing these funds for research and development, great efforts will also be required in the future throughout the company to save costs through, for example, efficiency improvements.

As a channel for employees, this meeting is very important for the AVR, and the open and transparent exchange is highly appreciated. In order to be able to continue to address the "right and important" topics, the AVR always relies on input and feedback from employees. These are readily welcomed; the AVR is available for discussion at any time.

Finally, we would like to thank the company management. Such exchanges between management and employee representatives are not a matter of course, but are greatly appreciated and help to meet the needs of Roche and its employees.

Written by Susanne Pommerening, AVR Assistant