South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare said on Thursday first-half earnings rose 26%, buoyed by a strong result from therapeutic focused brands and positive performance of the pharmaceutical business in its home market.
Aspen, which counts developed Europe as its biggest revenue generator, has been transforming itself into a therapeutically focused multinational pharmaceutical group rather than one that just makes tablets.
It has looked to injectibles such as anaesthetics to increase sales, building up its business in the past year with the commercial rights to AstraZeneca drugs and products from GlaxoSmithKline.
Aspen, with presence in 50 countries spanning six continents, said normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six-months ended December 31, rose to 872 cents from 692 cents.
HEPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa, which strips out certain one-off items.
Group revenue grew 11% to R21.9-billion from R19.8-billion.
"The significant influences on performance were: healthy organic growth driven by continued positive momentum in performance from the South African pharmaceutical business and a strong result from the Thrombosis brands," the firm said in a statement.
Therapeutic focused brands comprising the Anaesthetics, Thrombosis and High Potency and Cytotoxic portfolios, delivered revenue of R9.9-billion, contributing 45% of total group revenue.
Sub-Saharan Africa was the primary growth driver in regional pharmaceutical brands, underpinned by the South African business which raised revenue 21%.
"The sales achieved in the first half of the 2018 financial year are expected to be maintained in the second half in spite of the continued supply constraints which will prevent realisation of full potential," the firm said.
It also said performance in the second half will benefit from the additional rights to the AstraZeneca Anaesthetics, which it acquired in October.