Jordan medicine firm sees growth slown by regional turmoil

Reuters, Wednesday 16 Mar 2011

Hikma Pharmaceutical revises forecasts after sales and distribution disruption

Jordan's Hikma Pharmaceuticals has suffered disruption to its key branded drug business -- particularly in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia -- and expects slower growth from the unit in 2011, it said on Wednesday.

Investors have fretted about Hikma's sales due to political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, since some 60 per cent of its revenue comes from the region, and shares in the group have fallen more than a fifth since the end of January.

Overall group revenue is expected to grow around seven per cent in 2011, the company said.

The branded business started 2011 with double-digit growth but it has been hit disruptions in manufacturing, sales and distribution. As a result, these branded operations are now expected to show full-year growth of seven per cent, assuming that affected markets return to normal by the middle of 2011.

The Amman-based company, which sells branded generics and in-licensed products across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as generics in the United States, reported a 14.8 per cent rise in 2010 sales to $730.9 million, just ahead of forecasts.

But the 27.6 per cent rise in pretax profit to $121.0 million was light of expectations.

Analysts had expected Hikma to report pretax profit of $128.9 million for the year on revenue of $728.6 million, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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