Corporate performance criteria

The Management Board makes operational and strategic management decisions based on our Group-wide performance indicators for growth, profitability, liquidity, capital efficiency, and capital management. The most important financial performance indicators for us are explained below and a definition is provided in the glossary of financial terms. There were no changes in the financial performance indicators compared to 2019. There were also no changes in the financial performance indicators of the Fresenius Group due to COVID-19.

The key figures for the financial performance indicators for 2021 of the Group and the business segments can be found in the Outlook.


In line with our growth strategy, sales growth (in constant currency) of the Group and, in our business segments, organic sales growth in particular are of central importance. Fresenius has set itself medium-term growth targets. Based on the 2019 financial results, Group sales are projected to grow organically with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% to 7% in the timeframe 2020 to 2023. Small and medium-sized acquisitions are expected to contribute an incremental CAGR of approx. 1% point.


We use earnings before interest and taxes (EBITEBIT (Earnings before Interest and Taxes)EBIT does include depreciation and write-ups on property, plant and equipment. EBIT is calculated by subtracting cost of sales, selling, general and administrative expenses, and research and development expenses from sales.) and EBIT growth (in constant currency) to measure the profitability of the business segments. At Group level, we primarily use net  income and net income growth (in constant currency). In order to be able to better compare the operating per­formance over several periods, the results are adjusted by special items if necessary. Fresenius has set itself medium-term growth targets. Based on the 2019 financial results, Group net income is projected to grow organically with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR)1,2 of 5% to 9% in the timeframe 2020 to 2023. Small and medium-sized acquisitions are expected to contribute an incremental CAGR of approx. 1% point.


At the corporate level, cash flow margin is used as the main liquidity indicator. In order to further analyze and optimize the contributions of our business segments to operating cash flowCash flowFinancial key figure that shows the net balance of incoming and outgoing payments during a reporting period., we also use the additional performance indicators DSO3 (days sales outstanding) and SOI3 (scope of inventory). These show the amount of receivables or inventories in relation to the sales or costs of the services rendered during the past reporting period. Further information on our cash management system can be found in the risk report.

Capital efficiency

We work as profitably and efficiently as possible with the capital provided to us by shareholders and lenders. In order to manage this, we primarily calculate the return on invested capital (ROICROIC (Return on Invested Capital)Calculated by: (EBIT - taxes) / Invested capital. Invested capital = total assets + accumulated amortization of goodwill - deferred tax assets - cash and cash equivalents - trade accounts payable - accruals (without pension accruals) - other liabilities not bearing interest.)4 and the return on operating assets (ROOAROOA (Return on Operating Assets)Calculated as the ratio of EBIT to operating assets (average). Operating assets = total assets - deferred tax assets - trade accounts payable - cash held in trust - payments received on account - approved subsidies.)4.

Capital management

We use the ratio of net debt and EBITDAEBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization)EBITDA is calculated from EBIT by adding depreciations recognized in income and deducting write-ups recognized in income, both on intangible assets as well as property, plant and equipment. as the key para­meter for managing the capital structure. This measure indicates the degree to which a company is able to meet its payment obligations. Our business segments usually hold leading positions in growing and mostly non-cyclical markets. Since the majority of our customers are of high credit quality, they generate mainly stable, predictable cash flows. According to the management assessment, the Group is therefore able to use debt to finance its growth to a greater extent than companies in other industries. Our self­-imposed target corridor for the leverage ratio is 3.0x to 3.5x.

Investment and acquisition process

Our investments and acquisitions are carried out using a detailed coordination and evaluation process. As a first step, the Management Board sets the Group’s investment targets and the budget based on investment proposals. In the next step, the respective business segments and the internal Acquisition & Investment Council (AIC) determine the proposed projects and measures, taking into account the overall strategy, the total investment budget, and the required and potential return on investment. We evaluate investment projects based on commonly used methods, such as internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV). Within the framework of the due diligence process, opportunities and risks associated with the potential acquisition target are analyzed and assessed. In addition to reviewing the business model, key financial figures and tax issues, and the resulting company valuation, this also includes a comprehensive analysis of the market and competitive environment, regulatory framework conditions, and legal aspects. Furthermore, the assessment also implies various issues relating to compliance, production, research & development, quality, information technology, human resources, and the environment. Based on investment volume, a project is submitted for approval to the executive committees or respective managements of the business segments, to the Management Board of Fresenius Management SE, and/or its Supervisory Board.

You can also find more details on our key performance indicators in our interactive tool5 at

1 Net income attributable to the shareholders of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA
2 Before special items
3 Does not reflect a core performance indicator
4 For a detailed calculation of ROIC and ROOA please see glossary of financial terms
5 Not part of the audited management report

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Targets 20202 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Sales growth (in constant currency) +3 to +6 % 5% 6% 6% 16% 6%
Net income3 growth (in constant currency) -4% to +1% - 3% 0% 7% 21% 13%
Liquidity and capital management
Cash flow margin 12% to 14 % 18.1% 12.0% / 9.9%4 11.2% 11.6% 12.2%
Net debt / EBITDA5 Around the top-end of 3.0 x to 3.5 x6 3.44 x 3.61 x / 3.14 x4 2.71 x 2.84 x 2.33 x
Capital efficiency
Return on invested capital (ROIC)7 At 2019 level 6.5% 6.7% / 7.4%4 8.3% 8.0% 8.5%
Return on operating assets (ROOA)7 At 2019 level 7.3% 7.6% / 8.2%4 9.0% 9.4% 10.0%
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Business segments 1
Targets 20202 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Fresenius Medical Care
Sales growth (in constant currency) Mid-to-high single-digit % range 5% 5% 4% 9% 7%
Net income growth8,9 (in constant currency) Mid-to-high single-digit % range 12% -2% 4% 7% 16%
Fresenius Kabi
Sales growth (organic) +2% to +5% 4% 4% 7% 7% 5%
EBIT growth (in constant currency) -6% to -3% - 6% 3% 2% 8% 5%
Fresenius Helios
Sales growth (organic) +1% to +4% 4% 5% 3% 4% 4%
EBIT growth (in constant currency) Broadly stable 0% -4% 0% 54% 7%
Fresenius Vamed
Sales growth (organic) ~ -10% -8% 16% 16% 6% 5%
EBIT growth (in constant currency) Positive absolute EBIT + € 29 million 19% 45% 10% 8%
1 Growth rates are based on the assumptions of the respective annual forecasts and are adjusted for special items and, if applicable, other effects affecting the underlying growth (adjustments to new accounting standards, acquisitions / divestments, acquisition costs, or cost-saving programs).
2 Including expected COVID-19 effects (updated October 2020) 
3 Net income attributable to shareholders of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA 
4 Excluding IFRS 16 effect
5 Both net debt and EBITDA calculated at LTM average exchange rates; before special items, pro forma closed acquisitions / divestitures 
6 Around the top-end of the self-imposed target range of 3.0x to 3.5x; excluding further potential acquisitions 
7 Before special items, pro forma acquisitions 
8 Net income attributable to shareholders of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA 
9 Special items are effects (when consolidated at the Fresenius Group: special items), that are unusual in nature and were not foreseeable or not foreseeable in size or impact at the time of giving guidance.

Our core competencies

Research and development