Continued growth “despite Covid-19”


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AFT Pharmaceuticals has announced growth across its portfolio of OTC and prescription medicines in its half-year financial results

AFT Pharmaceuticals reports “continuing good progress” in commercialising its Maxigesic pain medication in international markets, despite Covid-19 challenges.

Group operating revenue for the six months to 30 September 2020 grew by 4% to NZ$48.8 million from NZ$46.9 million in the same period a year ago. Underlying revenue from product sales grew 9% to NZ$48.4 million.

Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) increased 968% to NZ$1.2 million for the six months following the normalised NPAT NZ$0.1 million for the same period one year ago.

Its FY20 was normalised to exclude a $9.8m gain on de-recognition of equity accounted investment and recognition of net assets acquired at fair value in a step acquisition.

AFT’s largest market, Australia, grew revenue by 11%. New Zealand was flat while Asia was down 7% with all markets seeing Covid-19 related disruptions.

Operating revenue from the rest of the world declined 15% due to lower Maxigesic licensing income as Covid-19 travel restrictions disrupted international out licensing negotiations.

However, the underlying product sales grew by 57%.

Group operating profit for the six months to 30 September 2020 was NZ$2.4 million, down from the normalised NZ$3.9 million operating profit in the same period a year ago. The fall was due primarily to lower license income.

Maxigesic tablets are now being sold in 34 countries, up from 28 at the end of the 2020 financial year. AFT anticipates launches of Maxigesic tablets in nine markets in the second half of this financial year.

Its Maxigesic Oral Liquid product is now awaiting first registrations while Maxigesic Hot Drink Sachets regulatory filings started in December 2019.

Chair David Flacks said: “AFT has delivered another strong result despite the disrupted global environment.

“The rise in net profit confirms our strategy to expand our presence in our home markets of Australia, New Zealand and Asia and grow our international revenues through the out licensing of our intellectual property.”

Founder and managing director Dr Hartley Atkinson said: “We are pleased with the progress we have made in what have been challenging market conditions. Following on from last year, all divisions of the company – Australia, New Zealand, Asia and our international markets – continue to contribute to group operating earnings.

“Our main Australian market continued to grow strongly despite some COVID-19 related disruptions. We are investing for growth and have added new medicines to our in-licensed portfolio that have the potential to lift sales considerably in the coming years.

“We are pleased with the ongoing progress of our development program. We have filed for regulatory approval for a further four line extensions to Maxigesic. These come on top of growing registrations around the world for Maxigesic tablets and Maxigesic IV.

“We see further significant growth in international Maxigesic sales in the second half of the 2021 financial year and into the following financial year as the number of countries in which the medicine is launched increases. We also see a sharper acceleration in the following years as sales in all these countries build, we add additional dose forms and the impacts of Covid-19 lessen.”

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