Home >Companies >People >Elder sees rev jump on Bulgaria drugs launch

Mumbai: Drugmaker Elder Pharmaceuticals plans to manufacture and launch 8-10 of its products in Bulgaria through its unit Elder Biomeda AD, a top official told Reuters.

The Mumbai-based company sees the Indian products clocking sales of €5-10 million in Bulgaria in two years, Alok Saxena, director—international business, said in a telephone interview late on Wednesday.

“We are looking at building synergy between India and Bulgaria operations to launch Indian products in the European market," he said, adding two products were already in the process of being launched in Bulgaria.

The drugmaker had on 4 Oct. raised stake in the Bulgarian unit Elder Biomeda to 92.2% from 61% for an undisclosed amount.

Elder Pharma, however, has no plans to raise the stake further.

Elder Biomeda manufactures ointments, capsules and tablets and employs about 300 people, he said.

The Mumbai-based drugmaker had in September acquired UK-based vitamins maker NeutraHealth for £12.2 million at 6.5 pence a share.

Elder Pharma now plans to launch more than 60 products of NeutraHealth in India on a long-term basis, he said.

“NeutraHealth will be operating independently in the UK and we are planning to support them in production and development," he said, adding the company was growing at 15-20% on yearly basis in the UK.

NeutraHealth, which has clients such as Alliance Boots, Tesco and Superdrug, has key products in probiotic and arthritis segments, which Elder Pharma wants to sell in India.

“In the first year, we would launch more than 2-3 products in India," he said.

New Plant, Marketing to Push Sales

Elder Pharmaceuticals, which clocked about 13% sales growth in FY09 and FY10 each, expects to continue the trend in the current financial year, Saxena said.

“A strong push in sales and growing demand in tier-II and tier-III cities would see our sales rising at par with target," he said without putting a number.

Elder Pharmaceuticals commenced operations in its new plant in the state of Uttarakhand in February this year. The plant, set up at a cost of 150 crore, is expected to contribute 15% to Elder’s overall annual sales.

“We would need capacity addition but not in the near term," he said.

In the first half of FY11, net profit of the drugmaker, which had declined 26.3% in FY09 and risen 9.4% in FY10, surged 70.45% to 295.62 million.

“(Over the last two years,) we have hired a lot of people and invested heavily in marketing our new products. Hence, the margins were impacted," he said.

With increased thrust on distribution and sales, he sees the situation turning around.

At 10:48 a.m., shares of Elder Pharmaceuticals were trading flat at 355 in a weak Mumbai market.

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