(Bloomberg) -- Fresenius SE forecast higher earnings growth this year amid more cost-cutting measures and strong demand for its intravenous drugs. 

Earnings will probably grow as much as 8% before interest and taxes in 2024 as the German health company doubles down on efficiency measures and looks to pay down debt, according to a statement Wednesday. 

The stock rose as much as 2.2%. Veronika Dubajova, an analyst at Citi, said the guidance is conservative and the company has a buffer of about €100 million ($108 million). 

Fresenius exceeded its own targets by reducing costs last year and is now raising its efficiency goals, looking to achieve annual savings of about €400 million ($432 million) at the Ebit level by 2025, up from a previous target of €350 million. It’s looking to save money in all its business units and also at its headquarters, in part by focusing on digitalization.

Since taking the company’s helm in October 2022, Chief Executive Officer Michael Sen has simplified the healthcare conglomerate’s strategy after years of complaints from investors that it was too complex. He’s given priority to the Kabi intravenous-drug unit and Helios division, which owns and operates hospitals in Europe and Latin America, while reducing the conglomerate’s focus on its rehabilitation clinic division Vamed.

The Kabi unit will probably see sales growing at a mid-single-digit percentage range this year, with an Ebit margin of around 15%, Fresenius said. Those metrics are slightly better than what the company expects for the Helios division.

The company reported fourth-quarter earnings of 70 cents per share before special items, exceeding the 62-cent average estimate.

Last year, Fresenius separated from its kidney-dialysis services division Fresenius Medical Care AG, but kept a 32% stake in the business.

--With assistance from Lisa Pham.

(Updates with shares)

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