New Delhi: Biocon posted a 7% year-on-year decline in its consolidated net profit for the October-December quarter to 203 crore as the company sharply increased its expenses on research and development and a one-time cost.

The Bengaluru-based biopharmaceutical firm posted a 71% y-o-y increase in R&D expenses at 131 crore, which weighed on the company’s bottomline.

However, Biocon’s operational performance for the quarter was steady, with its operating margin expanding to 27% from 26% in year-ago period.

Biocon’s revenue increased by 14% to 1,784 crore, led by growth of its biosimilars business.

Sales of its biologics business, under its subsidiary Biocon Biologics India, grew 31% to 588 crore aided by sales of its key biosimilars in developed and emerging markets.

“We are pleased with the robust performance and profitable growth of our biosimilars business during the quarter and 9 months of FY20 led by key products like trastuzumab and pegfilgrastim. Our Insulins business continues to do well in several emerging markets," Christiane Hamacher, chief executive officer and managing director of Biocon Biologics India, was quoted as saying in a release.

In the nine months ending December, Biocon Biologics has garnered 1,594 crore, or $223 million, in sales. The subsidiary is aiming at achieving annual sales of $1 billion by 2021-22.

During the quarter ending December, Biocon Biologics raised $75 million through a fresh equity issue to True North. The investment is part of a larger strategy of raising funds before going public.

“We have initiated value unlocking of our biosimilars business with the dilution of a minority stake to True North for a primary equity investment of (about) $75 million, which gives a pre-money equity valuation of $3 billion for Biocon Biologics. We plan to raise further capital at an opportune time in the near future," Biocon chairperson & managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said as per the release.

Biocon’s other major business, small molecules, clocked 544 crore in revenue, up 16% due to increased sales of our immunosuppressants in key geographies, as well as, stable demand for our statins and specialty active pharmaceutical ingredients, the company said in a release.

Revenue from its research services business, housed under Syngene International, grew 11% at 519 crore, while its branded formulations business declined 26% to 157 crore.

The decline in branded formulations revenue was on account of pricing pressure in the India and UAE markets.

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