Though the company reiterated its core profit (adjusted EBITDA) forecast of 430 million to 450 million euros ($461.52 million to $482.99 million) for the year, CEO Dietmar Siemssen told analysts on a conference call that the ongoing reduction of inventory would weigh on the primary packaging glass division for the near future.

"We are still facing an ongoing destocking situation in the market, mainly in the vial business," he said, adding that the effect was "gradually decreasing in the next few months and we expect a strong second-half 2024."

First-quarter earnings at Gerresheimer's primary packaging glass division, which makes the vials, fell 14.5% versus last year to reach 34.8 million euros. But earnings at its plastics and devices division, which makes syringes and injector pens, jumped 26.5% to 59.3 million euros.

"It seems some investors are disappointed with the growth outlook for Q2 as management reiterated its guidance for low single-digit organic revenue growth in H1, mainly due to the destocking of vials," said Berenberg analyst Victoria Lambert.

Siemssen also told investors on the call that Gerresheimer has contracts with "the only two key players" in the market for appetite-suppressing GLP-1 agonists, adding that "the sales that you see at the moment are a result of deliveries to these two customers."

Injectors of the kind made by Gerresheimer are used to administer Novo Nordisk's Wegovy and Eli Lilly's Zepbound. The blockbuster GLP-1 agonists are expected to bring at least 350 million euros of annual revenue for Gerresheimer within three years, Siemssen said last month, without naming specific customers.

($1 = 0.9317 euro)

(Reporting by Louis van Boxel-Woolf and Isabel Demetz in Gdansk; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Matthew Lewis)

By Louis van Boxel-Woolf