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Strategy fundamentals & ambition*

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 by for generations. We always take them into consideration when discussing and deciding on our enterprise strategy.

Compared to last year, we face greater challenges as the increasingly complex global situation has also impacted 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 building an organization with comprehensive data expertise and strengthening our ability to innovate. 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 drug candidates 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 and long 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).

We strive to make a positive impact in our communities and on the planet while assessing and considering the ESG (environmental, social, governance) impact of our growth ambition. Since the launch of our sustainability strategy, we have achieved essential milestones in integrating sustainability as a foundational element of our overall governance and decision-making frameworks. We are diligently striving to achieve human progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology by 2030. Fully integrating sustainability into our value chains by 2030 is at the forefront of our priorities. In addition, we are committed to achieving climate neutrality and minimizing resource consumption by 2040.

Active portfolio management is an integral part of our strategy. This has enabled us to transform 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 appropriate tools.

* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.

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