Pharmaceutical Group Set for 20% Growth


LONDON --Hikma Pharmaceuticals (ISE: HIK.L) soared 42 pence, or 6%, to 767 pence in early trading after the pharmaceutical specialist published its half-year results.

Hikma reported six-month sales up 35% to $532 million and adjusted profits up 37% to $82 million. The overall performance was assisted by $325 million spent on acquisitions during 2011. Hikma claimed growth excluding the effect of acquisitions was about 7%.

The dividend was lifted 9% to $0.06 per share.

Hikma's three divisions experienced mixed fortunes during the first six months of 2012. The group's branded products experienced underlying growth of 12%, while "injectables" recorded underlying growth of 26%. However, additional compliance work and increased pricing pressure caused Hikma's generic revenue to slump 27%.

Said Darwazah, Hikma's chief executive, said:

We have had a strong start to the year in our Branded and Injectables businesses. I am pleased with the growth we have achieved in our key markets this year. Our global Injectables business continues to deliver extremely strong growth, as we benefit from our increased scale and continued investment in quality and products. In our Generics business, where operations have been disrupted by additional compliance work, we expect sales to gradually improve in the second half.

Overall the Group is performing well and the outlook is positive for the second half. I am pleased to be able to reiterate our Group guidance of around 20% revenue growth for the full year.

Mr. Darwazah's optimism for the rest of the year should extend Hikma's respectable track record. Since the firm floated during 2005, annual sales have surged from $262 million to $1,056 million while profits have advanced from $69 million to $168 million.

Meanwhile, the share price has more than tripled from 250 pence -- and trounced the wider market -- during the last seven years.

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