Sopharma hit record in revenues for FY 2017



Leading pharma group Sopharma (3JR BU) hit record BGN 1bn in revenues for FY2017, marking a 15.1% y/y growth, according to Company’s consolidated financial statements for Q4’17. In FY2017, the Company’s EBITDA grew 17.5% y/y reaching BGN 86.6m, while EBIT was up by 25.4% y/y to BGN 56.3m. Net income for the period dropped by 16.1% y/y to BGN 46.1m due to lack of one off financial gains from sale of investments which was the reason for the surge in net income back in 2016.

Sopharma local market sales in February advanced 8%

Sopharma posts flat exports in Jan-Feb’18, local market up 2% y/y, according to preliminary monthly sales data announced by the Company. In February alone, local market sales advanced 8% y/y, while exports were flat for the period. The latter was due to the higher base in 2017 when key export markets for the Company – Russia and Ukraine, delivered a strong recovery

Sopharma shareholders decided on introducing semiannual dividend payments

At the General Shareholders Meeting in February 2018, Sopharma’s shareholders approved semiannual dividend payments as part of the Company’s Articles of Association as well as a renewal of the share buyback program. Thus, Sopharma can start semiannual dividend payments after approving its semiannual financial statements as stipulated by the latest changes in the local legal framework.

Share buy-back program extended

Also, Sopharma’s shareholders approved an extension of its share buy-back program for another five years. Accordingly, the Company could buy back up to 10% of its share capital, with up to 3% per year, at a maximum price of BGN 5.50 per share and a minimum of BGN 1 per share (the nominal value of the stock).

Enlarging production capacity in 2018 in view of US market opportunity

At a meeting with shareholders Sopharma CEO Ognyan Donev discussed upcoming investment plans. As Sopharma’s American partner Achieve Life Sciences (NASDAQ: ACHV) has published positive results of its Phase I/II clinical study on smoking cessation drug cytisine, Donev expressed optimism towards the development of Achieve’s next steps, including its Phase III clinical study. The latter is expected to start in mid-2018 and can take up to 18 months to be finalized. Nevertheless, Sopharma has already started preparation to enlarge its cytisine extraction capacity via adding additional land to plant the trees from which the ingredient is extracted as well as add more extraction capacity in the town of Kazanlak.

Additionally, Sopharma is proceeding with the construction of additional lyophilic production plant in Sofia. The latter is expected to cost c. BGN 30m. Donev added that the overall investment in the two production facilities would amount to BGN 40-50m. Also, he expressed positive expectations for the performance of Sopharma’s key Russian and Ukrainian markets, forecasting them to keep the 2017 momentum in 2018 in terms of sales revenue for the Group.

Check the latest equity research reports by ELANA Trading in investors’ hub ELANA Online