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Boehringer's operating income edges up on Jardiance, animal health

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FRANKFURT, April 5 (Reuters) - Germany's unlisted Boehringer Ingelheim said operating income rose 1.8% in 2021, driven by more prescriptions of diabetes drug Jardiance and demand for its veterinary drugs as people purchased pets during the pandemic.

Family-owned Boehringer said in a statement on Tuesday that full-year operating income came in at 4.7 billion euros ($5.16 billion), up from 4.6 billion a year earlier.

The Jardiance group of products, managed in a partnership with Eli Lilly, had 3.9 billion euros in sales, up 25.5%. The diabetes treatment is increasingly used to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients and also for the treatment of heart failure.

Sales of pulmonary fibrosis drug Ofev rose 21.2% to 2.5 billion euros.

Growth in animal health products, such as antiparasitics for dogs and cats, was fuelled by more people acquiring a new pet during the pandemic, but Boehringer said it expects to "see a normalization of the market growth trend" in 2022.

For 2022, Boehringer predicted slightly lower group operating income on higher spending on research and development, while revenues are expected to increase slightly.

($1 = 0.9104 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss, editing by Emma Thomasson)