The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted activities in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry during the first half of the year as the major players witnessed revenue boost by 8.3 per cent or N1.9bn to N24.73bn during the six months of this year.
Nigeria has five pharmaceutical companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
They are GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Fidson HealthCare Plc, May and Baker Nigeria Plc, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc and Evans Medical Plc.
Last year, four of the listed companies realised a total revenue of N22.82bn between January to June. This is excluding Evans Medical Plc.
The country’s largest Pharmaceutical company by revenue, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer had it’s sales rise to N10.43bn, from N9.97bn in the half year of 2019.
This was attributed to a push in demand for pharmaceutical products across the country.
Gaining N304m in the first half of this year in net profit, from the N372.1m in 2019, GlaxSmithKline is the only top company among the top four that recorded a plunge in profit during the period.
Lagos based Fidson HealthCare Plc result showed that half year revenue grew by N833m to N8.2bn against the N7.4bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.
The rise in earnings comes despite the challenges of the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
Pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria rely largely on imported raw materials and products which were affected by the lockdown directive, but the company saw a growth in half year net profit to N500.6m.
The net profit represents 81.4 per cent growth from the N275.9m recorded during the same period of 2019. This was partly boosted by increase in demand for prescription drugs.
Further analysis showed that Fidson during the six- month period recorded a growth in net asset amounting to N24.3bn against the N 20.4bn recorded in the full year of 2019.
The pandemic had led to growing demand for pharmaceutical products in the country which reflected in the performance of the big players in the sector.
Largely driven by the Covid- 19 induced demand, Nigeria’s third largest Pharmaceutical company by revenue, May and Baker Plc posted N4.07bn in revenue during the half year period ending June.
The earning represents a marginal growth of N16.6m from the N4.05bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.
May and Baker also witnessed a boost in net profit by N438.9m, up from N290.8m recorded in the same period of last year. The surge amounted to 50.9 percent of the results recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.
Considering the impact of the pandemic, the company’s total assets however dipped to N9.5bn in June against the N11.8bn recorded during the half year. of 2019.
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc witnessed an increase in its revenue by N600m to N2bn after recording N1.4bn in the corresponding period of 2019.
The Covid- 19 pandemic accelerated the company’s profit after tax by 663.98 per cent to N237.6m, from the N31.1m recorded during the same period of last year.
Despite being the smallest listed pharmaceutical company by revenue, Neimeth recorded huge growth in assets in the six months period to N 1.3bn from N1.1bn recorded in the full year of 2019.
In order to revitalise the country’s squalid health sector, the pharmaceutical industry had seen increased government interventions particularly as the pandemic had accelerated calls for policy reforms by multilateral lenders.
The pharmaceutical companies recently received substantial assistance from the Central Bank of Nigeria amounting to N100bn towards curbing the impact of the pandemic on the sector.
The liquidity boost will provide, “opportunities to explore the development of new products by the players, ” the Chairman of Lagos based Fidson Healthcare Plc, Segun Adebanji, said.
Looking ahead, several of Nigeria’s top companies will be working on innovation and adding more local contents in their drug production chain, analysts said.
Goldstein Market Intelligence forecast that the Nigeria pharmaceuticals market size is set to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9.1 per cent by 2030.
This is based on the country’s efforts to ban the importation of pharmaceutical products through all land borders, a move aimed at eliminating the inflow of substandard and counterfeit products.