HONG KONG, Nov 27, 2020 - (ACN Newswire) - Jacobson Pharma Corporation Limited ("Jacobson Pharma" or the "Company"; Stock Code: 2633), a leading company engaged in the research, development, production, marketing and sale of generic drugs and proprietary medicines, today announced the interim results of the Company and its subsidiaries (collectively the "Group") for the six months ended 30 September 2020 (the "reporting period").
During the reporting period, the Hong Kong and global economies continued to be battered by the COVID-19 pandemic ("the Pandemic"). Against the backdrop of a hard-hit consumer market, which was partially mitigated by impact relief and cost-saving measures, the Group posted total revenue of HK$695.4 million for the reporting period, representing a decline of 8.2% over the previous period. Profit attributable to shareholders softened by 19.4% to HK$102.5 million.
The Group maintains a healthy financial position with cash and cash equivalents of HK$479.5 million. Net gearing ratio also improved from 43.6% at the end of FY2020 to 39.5% as at the end of this reporting period. The Board has resolved to declare an interim dividend of HK0.8 cents per share (1H FY2020: HK2.0 cents) for the six months ended 30 September 2020.
Robust Growth of Therapeutic Class Products Despite Dampened Generic Drug Segment
The generic drugs business of the Group recorded revenue of HK$551.8 million (1H FY2020: HK$626.9 million) during the reporting period. Albeit a steady growth of 9.0% was recorded in the public sector, the private sector had witnessed a lacklustre performance attributed to a ravaged market sentiment due to a plunge in visitors from China and overseas, compounded by local social distancing measures and a reduction of consultation visits amongst hospitals and private clinics.
The Group's therapeutic class products, however, demonstrated robust growth. Anti-ulcerative and oral anti-diabetics products, for instance, registered a growth of 56.2% and 43.2% respectively. In addition, the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor products achieved a sales growth of 43.4%, primarily due to new business secured in the public sector along with growing consumption.
As a continuous drive for portfolio enhancement, the Group has added 11 specialised drugs to its product offerings through regional in-licensing agreements with reputable pharmaceutical manufacturers, in addition to its R&D pipeline.
Resilient Performance of Proprietary Medicines Segment
The Group's proprietary medicines business registered double-digit growth during the reporting period. Driven by the newly acquired proprietary Chinese medicine business, segment sales revenue posted a growth of 10.2% to HK$143.7million (1H FY2020: HK$130.3 million). Despite the stranglehold on tourism and the relatively weak spending sentiments, this business segment has put in an encouraging performance, thanks to the persistent brand management and marketing efforts.
Strategic Collaboration with Fosun Pharma Group to Supply COVID-19 Vaccine
The Group signed a letter of intent in August 2020 with Fosun Industrial Co. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., to market and supply potentially 10 million doses of BioNTech SE's BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate (the "COVID-19 Vaccine") to combat SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong and Macau.
In the collaboration, Jacobson Pharma will provide all relevant support services to Fosun Pharma Group for the marketing, sale and distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine in Hong Kong and Macau SAR regions through its extensive sales and distribution network covering the hospital and medical clinic sectors in the region.
The COVID-19 Vaccine is an mRNA based biological product for preventing the COVID-19 infection, developed by the German biotech company BioNTech SE in joint collaboration with its US partner, Pfizer. In the final efficacy analysis of its ongoing Phase 3 study, the COVID-19 Vaccine indicates an efficacy rate of 95% in participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and also in participants with and without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, in each case measured from 28 days after the first dose, 7 days after the second dose. Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics and observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%. Study data demonstrates the COVID-19 Vaccine was well tolerated across all populations with over 43,000 participants enrolled with no serious safety concerns observed.
Spin-off of Branded Healthcare Business
The Group has announced the proposed spin-off of its branded healthcare business, JBM (Healthcare) Limited ("JBM") on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. JBM is a Hong Kong-based branded healthcare company with a product footprint covering Greater China, Southeast Asia and certain other countries. It principally engages in the manufacturing and trading of branded healthcare products, comprising consumer healthcare products and proprietary Chinese medicines.
The Group believes that the proposed spin-off can unlock the value of its branded healthcare business. Forming a nimble strategic platform alongside an enhanced management focus, this separation is envisaged to facilitate value creation for both JBM and the Group.
Mr. Derek Sum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jacobson Pharma, concluded, "The Pandemic has been a challenge to the Group and indeed many other companies in the industry. Nonetheless, owing to the dedicated efforts of all employees of the Group, our core businesses have continued to make progressive advancement towards long-term strategic development albeit the unprecedented challenges brought by the Pandemic. In entering the second half of the Fiscal Year 2021, we will continue to build on our solid foundation and leverage our core competencies to cater for the market recovery forthcoming in 2021. We will face the challenges full on and come out stronger together!"
About Jacobson Pharma Corporation Limited (Stock Code: 2633)
Jacobson Pharma is a leading generic drug company in Hong Kong. The Group also carries a portfolio of proprietary brands, notably Po Chai Pills, Ho Chai Kung TjiThung San, Contractubex Scar Gel, Flying Eagle Woodlok Oil, Tong Tai Chung Woodlok Oil, Doan's Ointment, Saplingtan, Shiling Oil and Col-gan Tablet, which have been widely recognised by the market. In the strategic expansion of its branded healthcare business platform, the Group has introduced health and wellness brands and products such as Dr. Freeman Flu/RSV Combo, SmartfishHealth Nutrition Products, Dr. Freeman Infection Control Product Series and Dr Freeman COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit, among other reputable brands represented in overseas markets such as Excilor and Weisen-U.
The Group aims at the continued strategic enrichment of both of its generic drug and branded healthcare portfolios through the addition of high value-added products. With its corporate headquarters based in Hong Kong, the Group has also established its operating subsidiaries in China, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and Cambodia forming a regional commercial platform to tap the market potential in the Asia Pacific and Greater China region. Jacobson Pharma has been a constituent stock of MSCI Hong Kong Micro Cap Index since 1 June 2017. For more details about Jacobson Pharma, please visit the Group's website: http://www.jacobsonpharma.com
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