Hikma’s drug sales improving in Tunisia and Egypt

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LONDON: Jordanian group Hikma Pharmaceuticals said sales of branded medicines picked up in the third quarter, driven by recoveries in Tunisia and Egypt, with revenues to the end of September up around 9 percent.

First-half sales and profit were hit by political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) but the company said on Friday it was again doing well in these markets. It recently re-entered the Libyan market on a commercial basis.

Hikma, which sells generic and branded drugs, has been at the eye of the storm as unrest has spread, since it generates around 60 percent of its sales from the MENA region.

Operations in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain were all impacted by political unrest.

Overall, Hikma said it was on track to achieve its target of more than 20 percent group revenue growth and organic group revenue growth of around 7 percent in 2011, with net income in the range of $85 million to $90 million, excluding the recent acquisition of Moroccan firm Promopharm.

Hikma also sells generic drugs in the United States, where sales are being impacted by ongoing pricing pressure, although this is countered by strong growth in global injectables.

The shares were around 1 percent higher in early trade, outperforming a flat European drugs sector.


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