Indies Pharma ends year with $120 million in profit

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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Months after listing on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Indies Pharma has closed the 2018 financial year with profits of $119.7 million.

The pharmaceutical company's 2018 year-end profit comes in $17.6 million less than Indies Pharma posted for October 2017, after being squeezed by downward movements in the US dollar, totalling losses of $4.48 million, in addition to other operating income which almost dropped to half the $1.45 million the company made in 2017.

Despite thepharmaceutical company's announcement to partially use the $387 million raised from its initial public offering in June 2018 to diversify its product offerings, revenues from Indies Pharma did not offer a sufficient financial cushion, showing slight improvement to $636 million from $620 million.

The pharmaceutical company, however, offloaded $232 million in long-term loans and also cleared off another $1.1 million in director's loan but ended the 2018 financial year with a balance of $110 million to Sandy GVM Holdings Limited, $91 million more than its balance in 2017. Additionally, Bioprist Holdings Limited has due from Indies Pharma $10.9 million. Both are companies related to Indies Pharma.

Cash and cash equivalent as at October 2018 for Indies Pharma grew to $101 million over 2017's $74.1 million.

The Montego Bay-based Indies Pharma was incorporated in December 2003 by Dr Guna Muppuri and his wife Vishnu Muppuri, and sold its first third-party pharmaceutical on April 18, 2005. The company transitioned to the sale of products under the Bioprist brand in 2010, and two years later acquired Trident Pharmacy.

Currently, the company distributes more than 150 prescription and non-prescription or over the counter, generic pharmaceutical products for Bioprist Holdings Ltd under the Bioprist brand. Indies Pharma provides its service across the island through over 400 pharmacies, private and public hospitals, and government agencies – including the National Health Fund, as well as through medical practitioners, and directly to individual end-users.

In listing on the junior stock market last year, CEO Dr Guna Muppuri told potential shareholders that the company intends to deepen its distribution network in Jamaica and other Caribbean areas through strategic acquisitions, and the diversification of product offerings, inclusive of personal care and products for the agricultural market.

In September, Indies Pharma announced that it will be making a second run at the market, this time with a bond offer that is meant to finance its acquisition of a foreign company. The company is also in discussion with a supplier in India for a new line of nutraceutical products for dieting, beauty care, libido and other uses.


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