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      Top 100 pharma cos report 20% growth in profits in July-September: Pharmabiz study

      Posted Atpharmabiz.com

      India's top 100 Indian pharmaceutical companies have posted a satisfactory growth rate in top line as well as bottom line during the quarter ended September 2010 despite several hurdles in highly regulated markets, stiff competition and adverse exchange rate fluctuations.

      A Pharmabiz study of top 100 pharma companies during July-September quarter of 2010 showed that they recorded a net profit profit growth of 19.6 per cent at Rs. 3,622 crore during the quarter from Rs. 3,029 crore in the corresponding period of last year. Their sales increased by 14.7 per cent to Rs. 27,072 crore from Rs. 23,597 crore. These companies maintained momentum with investments in expansion, mergers & acquisition, tie-ups, restructuring of business operations and approvals from highly regulated markets.

      Out of Pharmabiz sample of 100 companies, seven companies recorded net sales above Rs. 1000 crore during the quarter ended September 2010. Ranbaxy remained on top with net sales of Rs. 1,884 crore and followed by Dr Reddy's Labs, Cipla, Lupin and Sun Pharma. Leading companies like Lupin, Aurobindo Pharma, Cadila Healthcare, Glenmark Pharma, Apollo Hospital, Plethico Pharma Strides Arcolab, Surya Pharma, Alembic, Fortis Healthcare, J B Chemicals, Twilight Litaka Pharma and Vivimed Labs recorded handsome gain of more than 20 per cent in net sales as well as net profits during the quarter.

      However, few majors with net sales of over Rs. 200 crore during quarter ended September 2010, like Cipla, Wockhardt, Piramal Healthcare, Sterling Biotech, Ankur Drugs and Pharma, Divi's Labs, Nectar Lifesciences and Shasun Pharma received setback in profitability. Piramal Healthcare's incurred a net loss, before adjustment in respect of sell of its formulation and diagnostic businesses, of Rs. 39.80 crore as against a net profit of Rs. 116 crore in the similar period of last year (Piramal results are not strictly comparable). Cipla's net profit dwindled by 4.6 per cent to Rs. 263.01 crore, Shasun Pharma by 94.4 per cent to Rs. 0.21 crore and Divi's net nosedived by 15.2 per cent to Rs. 71.93 crore.

      The net sales of nine companies viz., Piramal Healthcare, Nectar Lifesciences, Dishman Pharma, Aarti Drugs, Morepen Labs, Kiltich Drugs, Hiran Orgochem, Vimta Labs, Coral Labs and Syncom Formulations have suffered setback on sales front during the quarter ended September 2010. Piramal Healthcare net sales declined by 26.3 per cent to Rs. 731 crore mainly on account of sell of its formulation and diagnostic businesses. Further, 21 companies notched up only single digit growth in sales, which includes Ranbaxy (net sales growth of 9.8 per cent), DRL (1.8 per cent), Jubilant Life Sciences (5.8 per cent), Wockhardt (1.9 per cent), Aventis Pharma (6.6 per cent) and Ankur Drugs (1.3 per cent).

      Several positive factors helped the pharma segment during the quarter ended September 2010. Sun Pharmaceutical won its long battle against Taro Pharmaceuticals (Taro) and Piramal Helathcare sold its formulation and diagnostic business, Cipla acquired Meditab Specialities Pvt Ltd for a total consideration of Rs. 133.35 crore. Opto Circuits (India) Ltd acquired entire capital stock of US-based Unetixs Vascular, Inc, a specialist in the detection of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), for a cash consideration of approximately USD 9.7 million (around Rs. 46 crore).

      Indian companies stepped up their presence in regulated markets significantly through CRAMS and clinical trials. Jubilant Organosys, a largest custom research and manufacturing services company in India, has signed a long term contract in CRAMS business worth US$51 million, with a leading US life sciences company. This is take or pay contract with agreed quantities. Further, the company is in discussions to increase the contract to more than 2.5 times.

      With higher investments in R&D activities, Indian companies are getting more and more approvals from regulated markets. During the quarter under review, Sun Pharma received US FDA tentative approval for its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to market a generic version of sanofi-aventis's Rilutek tablets 50 mg. Venus Remedies has been awarded a contract for supply of their anti cancer product docetaxel to Thailand by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) under Ministry of Health, Thailand. Aurobindo Pharma has received approvals from Medicines Control Council (MCC), South Africa for 23 registrations to manufacture and market in South Africa. Bafna Pharmaceutical received the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval for manufacturing of both prescription and non-prescription products in the Australian market.

      Glenmark Generics Inc., USA, the subsidiary of Glenmark Generics Ltd, has received final approval from the US FDA for Trospium tablets 20 mg, the generic version of Sanctura tablets by Allergan Inc. and has already commenced marketing and distribution of this product in the United States.

      However, Fortis Healthcare, with a network of 8000-bed capacity across 48 hospitals, has lost the battle for controlling stake in Parkway Holdings, Singapore. It decided to divest entire strategic stake of 23.9 per cent to Integrated Healthcare Holdings, the investment arm of Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia, at Singapore $3.95 per share in cash. The company made huge profit from divestment and its results are not strictly comparable.

      To established strong presence in regulated as well as emerging markets, Indian companies have invested huge amounts in on going expansion programmes. Ranbaxy's South African subsidiary, Ranbaxy (S.A.) Pty Ltd (Ranbaxy S.A., has invested US$ 30 million and commenced operations at its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. This new facility will manufacture analgesics, cold, cough and flu preparations, anti-histamines, anti-hypertensives, CNS drugs, vitamins and minerals as well as a comprehensive range of over-the-counter medication.

      Further, Cipla is investing Rs. 250 crore in a new R&D and administration facility at Vikhroli in Mumbai. It is also setting up a Rs. 200 crore API facility at Bengaluru for anti cancer products and upgradation of its API facilities at Patalganga in Maharashtra to scale up production.

      Divi's Laboratories, after passing through a bad patch during 2009-10 and first two quarters of FY11, has chalked out an expansion plan by investing Rs. 200 crore for setting up a new facility in its SEZ for additional capacities in the current year. It operates predominantly in export market with a broad product portfolio under generics and custom synthesis.

      Recently Biocon and Pfizer Inc. have entered into a strategic global agreement for the worldwide commercialization of Biocon's biosimilar versions of insulin and insulin analog products: Recombinant Human Insulin, Glargine, Aspart and Lispro. Under the pact, Pfizer will have exclusive rights to commercialize these products globally, with certain exceptions, including co-exclusive rights for all of the products with Biocon in Germany, India and Malaysia. Pfizer will also have co-exclusive rights with existing Biocon licensees with respect to some of the products, primarily in a number of developing markets.

      Thus, higher approvals, investments in expansion, restructuring of business operations and tie-ups with international giants will help to maintain growth in coming quarter. Based on above performance, the Indian pharmaceutical segment will achieve better growth and overcome fear of competition.

      Nov 30, 2010


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