Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

Hikma's revenues surge 7 per cent for the first half on the back of new product launches

The strong performance comes after a change in leadership at the pharma firm last year

Hikma registered double-digit growth in the branded segment from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, its largest markets. Salah Malkawi / The National
Hikma registered double-digit growth in the branded segment from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, its largest markets. Salah Malkawi / The National

London-listed pharmaceuticals firm Hikma registered $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) in revenue for the first half of 2019, a 7 per cent increase over the same period last year.

The company, founded in Jordan in 1978, said its first-half performance was a reflection of strong sales of in-market products and new launches.

"Our good half year financial results demonstrate the breadth and resilience of our marketed portfolio, successful pipeline launches and actions we’ve taken to reduce costs and increase efficiencies," Hikma chief executive Siggi Olafsson said in a statement.

Pipeline development remained the focus for the drugmaker in the first half with increased investment pumped into research and development programmes, added Mr Olafsson.

Its core revenue in the global injectables segment (medicines administered using a needle and syringe or an intravenous device) rose 4 per cent to $428 million for the first half, compared with the same period last year.

The company generated a significant $60m in revenue in the segment - an 18 per cent increase over last year - from markets in the Mena region, particularly Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Injectables results are now expected to be towards the higher end of the previous full-year guidance range, the company added.

Hikma's strong performance comes after a change in leadership last year when Mr Olafsson was brought in as the chief executive to stabilise the business following a series of cuts to its revenue forecasts. The company previously faced intense competition and regulatory challenges in the US.

Revenue in its generics segment (medicines that copy branded drugs) for the first half of 2019 increased 11 per cent to $368m buoyed by strong demand for Hikma's differentiated in-market products and recent launches, which Hikma said offset price erosion.

The company also raised full-year expectations for the generics segment's revenue and operating profit.

In the branded segment, revenue rose 4 per cent to reach $242m, with its largest markets Saudi Arabia and Egypt registering double-digit growth from the launch of new products.

Strong performance in most of the Mena region offset lower sales in Algeria caused by the country's economic slowdown, the company said.

In the first half, the pharmaceuticals firm appointed a new chief scientific officer to strengthen its research and development capabilities, launched 37 products across its markets and expanded its global product portfolio. Seven licensing agreements were signed for the US and Mena regions. A long-term supply agreement was also signed with Civica Rx for essential injectable products in the US.

Updated: August 10, 2019 05:47 PM

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