By Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Dialysis specialist Fresenius Medical Care said it expected sales to almost double to $28 billion by 2020, driven by growing patient numbers and as it aims to widen its services to medical fields related to kidney failure.
The target is equivalent to an average annual increase of about 10 percent from $14.6 billion last year, the world's largest dialysis company said in presentation slides shown on its website on Thursday as part of its capital markets day.
The shares extended gains on the news and traded 3.5 percent higher at 1507 GMT.
The number of global dialysis patients is set to grow by 6.3 percent per year through 2020, after a 6.8 percent average annual gains over the past 13 years, FMC estimates.
FMC is also banking on medical insurers to increasingly pay it for coordinating a range of treatments beyond dialysis.
U.S. state-run insurer Medicare has started switching to no longer paying for individual services and drugs and instead to making lump-sum reimbursements per dialysis session, creating incentives for clinic operators to use drugs sparingly and renegotiate procurement prices.
FMC expects private insurers in the United States to expand such models to include the treatment of conditions that are linked to dialysis, such as infections of the injection site.
FMC believes it is better placed than its smaller rivals to adapt to such systems.
Chief Executive Rice Powell said coordinating patient care could account for 18 percent of sales by 2020, up from 3 percent currently.
Kidney failure is often a result of medical conditions that result from sedentary lifestyles in industrialized countries such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
While about two-thirds of FMC's revenue comes from North America, the company is seeing faster growth in emerging markets where western lifestyles are taking hold and rising wealth is driving an increase in insurance coverage.
FMC said on Thursday it expected about 4.5 percent growth in the overall number of dialysis patients in North America, 5.2 percent growth in Latin America and 8.4 percent in the Asia-Pacific region until 2020.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Christoph Steitz an Victoria Bryan)