ACME Laboratories Ltd is going to step into the western market this month by exporting medicines to England. The first consignment will reach England on December 20.
Md Rafiqul Islam, company secretary of ACME, told The Business Standard, "Entering the western market is a milestone for us. We expect our global operation to enter a new phase and enable the company to open a new operation chapter with new dimensions both in production and in turnover."
Moreover, we are trying to get permission to enter the USA, Europe and Australia markets, he added.
However, he could not confirm how much medicine will be exported.
In March this, the company received a GMP Compliance certificate from the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the UK) following a successful inspection of its Solid Dosages Unit (SDU).
Square Pharmaceuticals, Eskayef Pharmaceuticals and Beacon Pharmaceuticals have been exporting medicines to England for some time.
At present, ACME Laboratories exports medicines to Peru and Yemen. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, it exported medicine amounting to Tk65.16 crore, up 26.70 percent from Tk51.40 crore in the previous fiscal year.
During the last two decades, the pharmaceutical Industry of Bangladesh has reached even greater heights. At present, the sector meets about 98 percent of the local demand, and exports to more than 147 countries. The country earned $130 million from pharmaceutical exports in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, with an annual growth of 25.60 percent.
At present, local companies meet almost 98 percent of domestic demand with a market size worth Tk22,000 crore. According to the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) and the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), there are 257 licensed pharmaceutical manufacturers in Bangladesh. About 150 of them are functional.
Industry experts say that Bangladesh's pharmaceuticals sector will grow by 15 percent every year.
ACME's sale increased
Acme Laboratories' overall business performance has been sustainable over the years. The reported revenue of the company was Tk1,630 crore in the 2018-19 fiscal year, compared to Tk1149 crore in the 2014-15 fiscal year. This indicates a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.13 percent in the last five years.
In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the company's gross profit and net profit margins were 39.40 percent and 8.83 percent respectively. In the previous fiscal year, they were 39.64 percent and 9.63 percent respectively.
In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the company's net profit was Tk144 crore and Earning Per Share (EPS) was Tk6.81. In the previous year, net profit was Tk142 crore and the EPS was Tk6.74.
In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, its sales were Tk446 crore and net profit was Tk40 crore. This was an increase of 14 percent compared to the figures in the same period in the previous fiscal year, when its sales were Tk391 crore and net profit was Tk39 crore.
In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the EPS of the company was Tk1.89, up from Tk1.84 in the same period last year.
ACME Lab collected Tk409 crore after being listed in the share market through the book building method in 2016. At that time, the company issued each share for Tk77.
On Thursday, in the Dhaka Stock Exchange, the closing price of its share was Tk59. Last year, the highest price of its share was Tk97.50.
More than 90 percent of the raw material for the pharmaceutical industry is imported, which is a huge drain on the foreign currency reserves of Bangladesh. In order to address this issue, the government has already handed over 42 plots in the environment-friendly Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) industrial park at Gazaria in Munshiganj to 28 drug manufacturers. Most of the top-ranking pharmaceutical companies have already got plots in the API park, and most of them are going to start construction there as soon as possible.
ACME Lab has started construction at the API park, and expects to complete it by June 2022. The company has earmarked Tk60.61 crore for this project.
APIs can also be exported to other countries. At present, the global API market is about $238 billion. The government has announced pharmaceuticals as "The product of the year 2018." This will create opportunities for Bangladesh to export APIs to foreign countries.