Western Cape Business News

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TECHNOLOGY: Cape's Emerging Pharma Giant


Recent Western Cape Business News

CIPLA Medpro, a 17 year old Bellville based pharmaceutical distributor, looks like it is coming of age.

The company’s claims to be the fastest growing local pharmaceutical company with a steadily increasing market share across a broad range of medicines and health products is given credence by the latest set of interim results to end June.

Last month Cipla Medpro reported an 18% jump in half-year revenues to R843 million with after tax profits up over 70% to R193 million.

CEO Jerome Smith says total private pharmaceutical market grew by 6.3% in rands and 2.4% in units.

He notes that Cipla Medpro’s performance outstripped the market, growing by 11.9% in rands and 5.6% in units.

Smith says Cipla Medpro – which sources the bulk of its product from its Indian partner Cipla - remains focused on growing the company’s brands in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines - particularly at retail level.

While Cipla Medpro is accelerating impressively, Smith points out that there is still a huge gap between the company and the top two pharmaceutical companies in South Africa (being Aspen and Adcock-Ingram).

Serious opportunity for growth still exists at pharmacy and doctor level.”

He says Cipla Medpro’s over-the-counter business (excluding sales into retail) grew by around 9% in the first six months of the year with Airmune “tracking to do significant turnover in the next 12 months”.

Cipla Medpro will also be looking to secure further market share with the recent launch of its oncology division.

Smith says a business unit manager and six experienced sales people have already been appointed to launch the first six products.

Stock is in South Africa already. We believe that, with further registrations due soon, Cipla Medpro will become a significant supplier of oncology medicines to the population of South Africa.”

Even the smaller business units at Cipla Medpro seem to be gaining traction.

The Cipla Vet (small animal) business grew by 11% to R10.9 million and Cipla Agrimed (large animal) grew by 32% to R34 million for the six months.

Smith says Cipla Agrimed landed a government contract worth R100 million over two years “at acceptable margins”.

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