Jordanian drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has posted a strong set of results for 2010, but political and social unrest in North Africa could hurt this year's figures.
Operating profit came in at $135.1 million, up 25.9%, while revenues rose 14.8% to $730.9 million. The increases were principally due to strong growth in Hikma’s key market, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which makes up 61% of its revenues.
The company's branded business performed well particularly in Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and across the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, while its injectables arm was boosted by a 75.9% leap in sales in the USA. The latter business will be "transformed" and sales should double once Hikma completes its $112 million acquisition of the US generic injectables unit of Baxter Healthcare.
Chief executive Said Darwazah said that deal should be completed within the next four weeks and also pointed to a stategic alliance recently signed with South Korea’s Celltrion to market nine biosimilars throughout the MENA region. Speaking about the unrest in the area, he said that "obviously there is going to be a short-term disruption, especially in markets like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya" but in the first two countries, "I think things are more or less getting back to the normal phase. We're happy with how things are moving there".
Mr Darwazah added that "even throughout the disruption period we were able to take care of business. We were able to take care of the factories. I think we shut down for a week in every country. That was it, a full shutdown". He went on to say it took some weeks to get back to normal again "but our local management did a great job there. The only country that is still in question now is Libya".
The Hikma chief claimed that the changes in the MENA region will result in more transparency and "better distribution of wealth. We will be seeing the formations of a middle class". He concluded by saying that "we are still very actively looking at acquisitions" in the area. The company said "the events of early 2011 in the MENA region have led us to be more cautious on the short_termoutlook" but Mr Darwazah said "I am very optimistic for 2011 and for the next medium-term period. We have a track record of doubling the business every three to four years. We are still very committed to that".