KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaniaga Bhd’s fourth-quarter net profit plunged 80% to RM4.44 million from RM21.7 million a year ago, The EdgeMarkets reported.
It attributed this mainly to lower demand coupled with higher finance costs.
Earnings per share for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 fell to 1.71 sen from 8.36 sen previously, the group said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
Revenue was also lower by 3% at RM596.64 million compared with RM613.2 million a year ago.
The group declared a fourth interim dividend of two sen per share, lower than the six sen declared in the previous year.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Pharmaniaga’s net profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18) fell 21% to RM42.47 million from RM53.82 million previously.
However, revenue improved to RM2.38 billion from RM2.32 billion a year ago.
In a statement today, the company said the increase in revenue was propelled by ongoing cost containment measures, as well as continued growth in the concession and private sector businesses, while also supported by digital marketing activities for consumer healthcare products.
The lower net profit recorded was attributable to a one-off compensation in relation to a former joint venture company in China included in the FY17 results, it said.
Pharmaniaga said the slower collection from government hospitals, in both the group’s domestic and Indonesian operations, had resulted in higher finance costs and subsequently impacted profitability for the year.
The company said its manufacturing division also turned in lower profit of RM61 million compared with RM75 million in the previous year.
This was due to reduced contribution from government demand for its products, but the division will continue to implement continuous cost optimisation measures to deliver sustained earnings.
Managing director Farshila Emran said Pharmaniaga had delivered satisfactory results despite a fair share of challenges in FY18.
“Moving forward, the group is focused on growing its product portfolio and exploring new opportunities.
“In particular, the Indonesian operations will be the main focus area of growth, with positive contribution to the group.
“To further drive performance, we will continue to enhance operational efficiencies and implement cost containment measures, in both our domestic and Indonesian operations.
“With these plans firmly under way and given the increased budget allocation for the healthcare sector under the government’s Budget 2019, we remain optimistic on prospects ahead for the group,” she added.