Jordan's Hikma Pharmaceuticals has posted a strong set of financials for 2012, helped by a strong performance from its injectables division, which has attracted potential buyers.

Revenues increased 20.8% to $1.10 billion, helped by a strong performance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which accounts for nearly 56% of group sales. Operating profits leapt 40.5% to $166.8 million.

The generic injectables business soared 48.9% to $470 million, with strong performances shown in the USA and Europe as well as MENA. American sales leapt 82.6% to $296.2 million and Hikma noted that it has received "a number of unsolicited expressions of interest for the business". It is undertaking a review of the strategic options for the injectables unit.

Branded generics revenues increased 19.7% to $528.9 million, driven by growth in Algeria, Egypt and Libya. The company also noted that "we believe Iraq and Sudan are attractive markets that will offer excellent growth potential over the medium and long term".

One fly in the ointment was a 33% decline in generics revenues to $103.7 million, hit by compliance issues at its facility in Eatontown, USA which led to a halt in production. Manufacturing restarted at the end of 2012 and Hikma said it should complete "remediation work" in the second half of the year.

Generics business may be sold

However, the "remediation process has been slower than expected" and the firm is looking for further opportunities to cut costs. "We have also initiated discussions with third parties to evaluate the alternative options for this business", Hikma added.

Chief executive Said Darwazah said "our focus in 2013 continues to be on building our business in MENA and on strengthening our global Injectables business". He added that "we look forward to another strong year", but revenues are only expected to grow 10%.