Pharmaniaga narrows net loss in 4Q20


PHARMANIAGA Bhd narrowed its net loss to RM6.3 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 (4Q20) compared to net loss of RM178.6 million in the same quarter in 2019.

Revenue for 4Q20 stood at RM634.6 million compared to RM716 million posted in the same quarter in 2019.

The pharma group registered lower Ebitda of RM300,000, its filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday revealed.

This was mainly attributable to reduced demand from the concession business due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Pharmaniaga posted a lower loss before zakat and taxation of RM14 million.

This is an improvement from the deficit of RM238 million in the same quarter last year which was mainly due to the remaining unamortised Pharmacy Information System costs amounting to RM247 million in 2019.

Its net profit for the financial year 2020 (FY20) stood at RM27.49 million from a net loss of RM149.22 million in FY19.

Its group MD Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said 2020 has been challenging as the Covid-19 pandemic impacted all industries in general including pharmaceutical which resulted in lower demands from government hospitals and clinics.

“The situation is similar for our Indonesia operations. Moving forward, we will face this pandemic with the spirit of reinvention and innovation, with fortified strategies in place by focusing on our strong research and development team to pave the way for the future of halal medicines.

“We will invest in digitalisation of supply chain management towards IR 4.0, as well as on a multitude of e-commerce platforms to capture the changing consumers’ dynamic trends,” he said in a statement.

The board of directors also declared a fourth interim dividend of one sen per share.

The dividend will be paid on April 22, 2021, to shareholders on the register as of March 31, 2021.

Zulkarnain said the group is honoured to be selected by the government for the Covid-19 vaccine fill and finish manufacturing.

“We have all the facilities and workforce needed to carry out this mandate entrusted by the government. Our European Union certified high-tech small volume injectable plant has been retrofitted and repurposed in December 2020 with a slight investment to conduct the fill and finish manufacturing of the vaccine.

“On Jan 26, we have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MoH) to supply 12 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to its designated health facilities nationwide, and we are firmly committed to meeting the healthcare requirements of the rakyat,” he said.

The logistics and distribution of the vaccine will be carried out by Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd, which has 26 years of experience managing vaccine distribution and has a well-established infrastructure to support the needs.

Zulkarnain said the group has also placed strategic plans to strengthen its vaccine business and create an additional income stream.

The group also inked an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a leading Indian biotechnology company, Serum Institute of India Pte Ltd, for the pneumococcal vaccine in October last year.

“The MoU aimed to allow us to purchase pneumococcal vaccines from Serum and subsequently use the technology and know-how licensed by them for the fill and finish manufacturing. The vaccine will be marketed, distributed and sold exclusively in Malaysia by Pharmaniaga,” he said.

In contributing to the performance for the year ahead, the group’s contract with MoH for the provision of medicines and medical supplies continues until Novem- ber 2024.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Pharmaniaga chairman Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said the group is poised to be the most respected tech-viable pharmaceutical company in Malaysia and is now positioned to lead in premier halal drugs manufacturing.

“We have refined the strategies to achieve the target and this is aligned with our parent company’s strategy of Reinventing Boustead.

“This involves speedier value creation within the group’s existing core businesses, adopting new business models for new revenue generators, rationalising a few non-strategic assets, as well as venturing into relevant digital services to support a smarter spending and cost-saving management,” he said.

Pharmaniaga’s share price closed nine sen or 2.51% lower at RM3.49 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM913.35 million.