Pharmaniaga Bhd can continue to grow its profits by about 20% this year if it carries on with its modernisation and mechanisation efforts to improve its efficiency, managing director Azhar Hussain said yesterday.
The company, which is 31% owned by United Engineers (M) Bhd, has managed to register double-digit profit growth on an annual basis, with its net profit last year amounting to RM37.3mil.
However, Pharmaniaga is still heavily reliant on the concession business, which currently contributes 70% of its sales.
Azhar said the company was working towards reducing its dependency on the concession business.
Pharmaniaga was also focusing on the private sector so that this business segment would contribute 40% of its turnover in the next few years, he told reporters after the company's AGM and EGM in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
According to Azhar, sales for the industry is expected to expand by 8% to 10% this year.
The pharmaceuticals industry in Malaysia is valued at between RM1.7bil and RM1.8bil.
On Pharmaniaga's strategies, Azhar said the company would step up its marketing efforts and strive to expand its estimated 16% market share in the supply of pharmaceuticals to hospitals.
The company would also focus on products suitable for the private sector, the products mainly taking the form of bio-equivalence or generic products that were less costly than the originals, he added.
On new contracts, Azhar said Pharmaniaga had submitted an application to supply newly-patented drugs to the government.
However, he said the application was still pending.
Thus far, the company has registered 388 products locally.
It plans to increase registration of products overseas, concentrating mainly on Hong Kong and the Asean region, so as to develop its export markets.
The company also intends to expand its health supplements range and launch herbal remedies by year-end.
As a planned injectables plant would only be operable in 2005, Azhar confirmed that Pharmaniaga would be renewing a contract - estimated at RM30mil - with Duopharma Biotech Bhd for the supply of injectables.
The contract expires at the end of this year.
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