JAKARTA: PT Kalbe Farma, a leading Indonesian pharmaceutical group, has reported net sales of 6.015 trillion rupiah (RM1.74bil) in the first quarter of 2021, marking a year-on-year increase of 3.8% and failing to impress investors.
The group expressed optimism and projected an annual increase of 5% to 6% in both sales and net profit, resting its hopes, in large part, on business related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Based on the developments in the first quarter, we are confident that we can grow beyond our current projection. However, we’re still waiting for the numbers for the first half of 2021, ” said Bernadus Karmin Winata, finance and accounting head of PT Kalbe Farma.
Bernadus said he believes Kalbe Farma’s participation in Indonesia’s Covid-19 response, such as through the manufacture of laboratory diagnostic tools and therapeutic and preventive products, would buoy growth.
He added that the drop in hospitalised Covid-19 patients would increase people’s willingness to be admitted to the hospital for non-Covid-19 treatment, which would contribute to the company’s sales going forward.
However, he noted that it was important for the group to create new and affordable products to retain its current growth.
The group has allocated one trillion rupiah (RM290mil) for capital expenditure in 2021. As of the first quarter, only a fraction of those funds had been spent. – The Jakarta Post/ANN