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Company profile

TAG overview

We are a science and technology company. We are pioneers of human progress, driven by our curiosity.

We are working toward a better future in a special organizational setup and are bringing together different disciplines under one roof with the three business sectors Life Science, Healthcare and Electronics.

Our Life Science business sector provides the tools, high-grade chemicals and consumables that accelerate scientific breakthroughs and enable the biopharmaceutical industry to ensure that medicines are safe and effective for a global population. In our Healthcare business sector, we advance innovation through our research, enable life-changing therapies for serious illnesses, treat patients with cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and multiple sclerosis, and help people to realize their wish to have a child. In our Electronics business sector, we are the company behind the companies, advancing digital living. Our semiconductor and display solutions are used in the manufacture of many components for electronic devices. We are thus changing the way in which information is processed and made accessible. In addition, our specialists also explore visionary new solutions at the interfaces of our three diversified business sectors.

Ever since we were established in 1668, we have continuously reinvented ourselves and adopted a long-term mindset. This approach is rooted in responsibility, care and respect: for our work, our people, our customers, patients, society, and our planet. We want to become the global 21st century science and technology pioneer and are committed to working towards a better future: sustainable progress for humankind.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany holds the rights to the corporate name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States. In these countries, we operate as MilliporeSigma in the Life Science business, as EMD Serono in the Healthcare business, and as EMD Electronics in the Electronics business.

Apart from our three business sectors, our financial reporting presents five regions: Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. As of December 31, 2023, we had 62,908 employees worldwide. The figure as of December 31, 2022, was 64,243 employees.

In 2023, our 225 fully consolidated companies with personnel in 65 countries generated sales of € 21.0 billion. Our 101 production sites are located across 19 countries.

Employees and sales by region – 2023

Employees and sales by region – 2023 (Graphic)

Group structure

In accordance with our strategic orientation our company comprises three business sectors: Life Science, Healthcare and Electronics.

In Life Science, we are a leading global provider of products and services for a wide range of customers, including academic labs, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic labs, and the industrial sector. Across our Life Science business sector, we collaborate with the global scientific community to deliver innovations and to this end, we offer a broad and deep product portfolio as well as global Contract Testing Development Manufacturing Organization (CTDMO) services ranging from process development to commercialization. In 2023, we continued to execute our strategy as a diversified life science company to strengthen our three business units, Process Solutions, Life Science Services, and Science & Lab Solutions. The Process Solutions business unit continued to focus on delivering its product offering for the pharmaceutical development and manufacture of filtration devices, chromatography resins, single-use assemblies and systems, processing chemicals, and excipients. The Life Science Services business unit offers traditional and novel modalities, including monoclonal antibodies, high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients and antibody-drug conjugates as well as viral and gene therapies, including mRNA. In addition to manufacturing, Life Science Services includes sales and marketing, research and development and supply chain operations. Our integrated CTDMO services support clients from pre-clinical phases to commercial production. The Science & Lab Solutions business unit serves customers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and other industries in production, testing and research, as well as public authorities and research institutions, providing customers with access to a broad portfolio including reagents, consumables, devices, instruments, software, and services for scientific discovery in addition to lab water instruments, consumables and services, microbiology and biomonitoring products, test assays, analytical reagents, and flow cytometry kits and instruments.

In our Healthcare business sector, we operate as a global specialty innovator in the Neurology & Immunology and Oncology franchises as well as in the therapeutic areas of fertility and cardiovascular, metabolic and endocrinological disorders. The Healthcare business sector discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceutical and biological prescription drugs to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), infertility, and growth disorders as well as certain cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Our R&D pipeline is focused on strengthening our position in the fields of oncology, neurology and immunology.

With our Electronics business sector, we are a major supplier of materials and solutions for the semiconductor and display industries. We have a portfolio of materials, systems and services as well as R&D and a global production network close to our customers. We have built our portfolio to cater to the continued digitalization and the unabated growth of data. The demand for increasingly sophisticated semiconductor chips and displays will continue to rise, not least thanks to developments such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G (fifth-generation mobile networks) and autonomous driving. In recent years, we have developed into a relevant player in the global electronic materials market. In addition, we offer decorative and functional solutions for surfaces of all kinds. The Electronics business sector consists of three business units: Semiconductor Solutions, Display Solutions and Surface Solutions. Three cross-functional boards support the business units: Technology Leadership Board, Supply Chain Leadership Board, and Commercial Leadership Board. They define cross-sector standards, steer portfolio management, drive forward the exchange on good practice, and promote transparency.

Net sales by business sector – 2023

Net sales by business sector – 2023 (Pie chart)


The founding family, now in the 13th generation, is still the majority owner. This is made possible by our company structure: a corporation with general partners (Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien – KGaA). In a KGaA, the total capital is divided between general partners and limited partners. The founding family holds a 70% stake in the listed Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, as partner via the Group’s ultimate parent company, E. Merck Kommanditgesellschaft, Darmstadt, Germany. The remaining 30% of the share capital of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is traded on the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and other stock exchanges. In September 2008, our company was added to the FTSE4Good Index, a sustainability index that assesses the social, ecological and ethical conduct of companies.

Group strategy

We are curious minds dedicated to human progress. We believe that scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship are key to technological advances that benefit us all. Our values – courage, achievement, responsibility, respect, integrity, and transparency – guide us in every step we take and in every decision we make. Our company has a firm foundation with convictions and principles that the Merck family has lived for generations. We always take them into consideration when discussing and deciding on our enterprise strategy.

In comparison with last year, headwinds have intensified while the world has become more complex, also in some of our end markets. This poses challenges for the global economy and society. With a history of more than 355 years and a truly global footprint today, we have established a solid, resilient foundation that continues to bolster our confidence in our ambition for the future – to become the global 21st century science and technology pioneer. To achieve this, we continue to focus on our key growth drivers: Process Solutions, Life Science Services, Science & Lab Solutions, and Semiconductor Solutions as well as developing specialty drugs in our Healthcare business. Our must-win battles include establishing a fully data-literate organization and strengthening innovation. For instance, in our “Data & Digital” initiatives, we focus on identifying, prioritizing, and implementing technical capabilities across our businesses to promote future growth.

Through our multi-industry business model, we serve attractive global markets with secular growth trends as a trusted partner to advance human progress. Our diversified portfolio benefits from key megatrends. In Life Science, this includes a growing market for complex and novel modalities. In Healthcare, we develop and commercialize specialty pharmaceuticals in the Oncology and Neurology & Immunology franchises. These include the medicines Erbitux® (cancer), Bavencio® (cancer) and Mavenclad® (multiple sclerosis). In addition, we are conducting clinical trials with late-stage xevinapant (head and neck cancer) and further assets in oncology, neurology and immunology in earlier stages of clinical development. With our comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor materials, we expect to benefit in the medium term from continuously increasing demand for chips due to the exponential growth of data volumes as well as the further implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ultimately, active portfolio management as an integral part of the strategy of our company successfully enabled our transformation over the last decades and our evolution into a global science and technology pioneer. In this sense, inorganic growth is a relevant element to accelerate strategic plans and to leverage business opportunities in our attractive end markets. Strengthening our key growth businesses remains the highest priority for which mergers and acquisitions (M&A) could serve as an appropriate tool.

You can find more information on our company strategy in our Annual Report 2023. Details on the sustainability strategy can be found there and here in the report.

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