x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Julphar’s rising popularity in Middle East medicine leads to higher revenues

Julphar reports 8.6 per cent jump in operating income year on year as medicine prices rose.

Ras Al Khaimah-based Julphar yesterday reported an increase in earnings last year as it gained visibility across regional markets.

Listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the drug maker recorded an operating profit of Dh235.9 million, up 8.6 per cent year-on-year.

Private-market sales drove up the company’s sales revenue for the year to Dh1.36 billion, up 15.4 per cent.

“In the private-market segment, while our traditional strongholds – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq and Lebanon – have continued to see strong double-digit growth, Kuwait, Oman and Morocco also saw a strong demand for our products,” said G V G Krishna, the chief financial officer of Julphar. “In the tender segment, on the other hand, Libya, Jordan, Ethiopia and Yemen showed strong performance.

“One of our growth drivers can be attributed to the governments aiming to reduce the costs of healthcare – generic companies play a great role in helping them achieve this by offering products of the same quality with less cost.”

Julphar manufactures the raw material needed to make insulin and other medicines. It started producing the raw material for insulin in 2012.

The UAE medical care segment reported an inflation rate of 0.39 per cent last year over the previous year.

In December, the cost of medicines and vitamins rose by 0.27 per cent over those in November, while doctor fees rose by 3.75 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

In the UAE, the private sector has been attracting an increasing share of patients since 2006, when insurance was made mandatory in Abu Dhabi. In the latest figures available from the National Bureau of Statistics, the private sector accounts for 64 per cent of the total number of patients.

The UAE’s healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP has also been rising. It was 3.3 per cent, behind Bahrain, which spent 3.8 per cent, and Saudi Arabia, which spent 3.7 per cent, according to a Colliers International report from December.

Julphar’s shares closed higher at Dh3.32 each on Sunday, up 0.91 per cent from Thursday’s close. That in turn was up from Dh2.76 from a year ago. In September, the shares shot up to Dh4 each.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights