Despite its business being hit by the political and social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), Jordanian drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals is confident of hitting its full-year targets.
Half-year operating profit came in at $49.0 million, down 34.0%, although revenues rose 10.4% to $394.8 million. Hikma, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, noted that its excellent performance in Algeria, Sudan and Iraq was partially offset by disruptions in operations in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain.
The firm added that "our experience in operating in more challenging market conditions enabled us to respond quickly and effectively to the disruptions to our operations in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain and to minimise their impact". These markets are now recovering well, Hikma says, but in Libya, "where tensions have been more protracted, we are only now beginning to see a recovery".
Chief executive Said Darwazah said that despite the challenges posed by the MENA markets, he expects 20% overall revenue growth for the full year. Hikma finally secured its $112 million acquisition of Baxter's injectables business in May and despite the delay in completing the purchase, he insists "it's a great deal for us. It gives us the economies of scale. It gives us products that we did not have before for both the US market and hopefully we can take them out to Europe and to the MENA".
Mr Darwazah went on to say that "the very good part of the [Baxter] deal is that although we got a big business, we paid very little money for it". He said Hikma has over $250 million to spend for further acquisitions and "we are currently looking at a lot of companies, most of them in the MENA".