Sopharma Trading, being a wholesaler and retailer of pharmaceuticals, OTC products and cosmetics, is part of the companies at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. Even before the announcement of Bulgaria’s state of emergency, the demand for food supplements, vitamins, OTC and medical consumables rose fast leading to exhaustion of available stocks in local pharmacies chain. In March, the Company disclosed that there was a delay in the supply chain from Europe, but expressed expectations that the delay for certain medical consumables and products would be temporary.
According to an official Sopharma Trading press release, the Company has undertaken all the necessary measures for achieving continuity of its supply chains and timely delivery of medicines and medical consumables to hospitals and pharmacies. Since the start of April, the Company’s pharmacies chain SOpharmacy, has achieved to decrease by 3x the time for orders execution and boosted its order processing capacity by 4x. In addition, due to a surge in online orders, Sopharma Trading has doubled the team serving its e-pharmacy. The distribution centers in the country and Serbia operate with normal working hours at full capacity, which is an evidence for its business’ sustainability.
Sopharma Trading’s financial results
Sopharma Trading is one of the few companies on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange which has shown consistent non-stop growth of revenues and net profit for 11 years in a row. Thus, on a standalone basis, in 2019 the Company has generated record BGN 791.5m and a net profit of BGN 20.1m. During 2019, all operating segments marked an increase, namely 52% y/y in pharma retail, 25% y/y in hospital sales, 21% y/y in wholesale and 2% y/y in sales of medical equipment. The Company pays out dividend on a regular basis, with the average dividend yield for the past 5 years reaching 4.70%.
During the last few years, Sopharma Trading has strengthened its presence on both local and export markets thanks to a combination of organic growth and successful M&As: in the end of 2017, the Company acquired local pharmacy chain Pharmastore and in 2018- 019 its Serbian competitor Lekovit. In Mar’20, the Company has signed an agreement for the acquisition of another local pharmacy chain: SCS Franchise, the latter having 150+ pharmacies across Bulgaria. The Company is still awaiting approval from local competition regulator. Sopharma Trading has disclosed that this acquisition would be a step towards its local market presence growth. Also, on 30th Mar’20, it announced the opening of its new distribution center near Nis, Serbia, which will serve its clients in the Southeastern region of Serbia, the ultimate plan envisioning it to expand its scope serving Eastern, Western and Southern Serbia.