Shareholders and directors of Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited’(CiplaQCIL) have expressed confidence that the company is in solid financial health to confront the future.
They made the observation during the second annual general meeting (AGM) on 20 August 2020, where they announced the firm’s achievements during the 2019/2020 financial year.
The achievements, they noted, include; considerable expansion of the regulatory footprint (most notably the approval from the South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA)), the first ARV exports to South Africa, the opening of the expanded state-of-the-art Quality laboratory and significant growth in donor-funded malaria sales.
They said the drug manufacturing company had also undertaken an ambitious innovation programme to enable additional products to be manufactured at its facility, including the new first-line antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV commonly referred to as TLD, which combines tenofovir (TDF), lamivudine (3TC) and dolutegravir (DTG).
The directors noted that CiplaQCIL set out a target to be registered in 22 countries in Africa this year. The scorecard to date is that 16 countries have granted approvals, 15 are in progress, and 3 new country applications will be made this financial year.
They said the company is confident that this target will be surpassed because CiplaQCIL continues to engage extensively and constructively with the government of Zambia regarding payment of the over dues this financial year.
“In quarter one, $1.2 million was received. This engagement involves forfeiting the over dues through an international bank to secure guaranteed payment,” they noted.
At the neeting, the CEO of CiplaQCIL, Nevin Bradford, said: “The company is relentlessly focussed on driving shareholder value through increased revenues and profitability. Even though it was business unusual during the COVID-19 pandemic, CiplaQCIL was fortunate to operate without interruption and even managed to improve attendance and productivity levels during this period. The new financial year 2020/2021 has presented opportunities in increasing the customer base with orders from Botswana for 2.3 million doses of ARVs for adults living with HIV.”
CiplaQCIL is widening its customer base both geographically and customer wise with the entrance into the private market and very significant new direct-to-government sales.
As part of CiplaQCIL’s expansion strategy, the company has acquired Quality Chemical Ltd.’s distribution arm of the Cipla India manufactured range of prescription medicines in Uganda.
The acquisition takes the form of a transfer of assets of Quality Chemicals Limited, specifically the sales team overseeing the human healthcare portfolio, and is expected to boost the company’s sales growth by expanding its product range while unlocking new business opportunities in the retail distribution market.
The transaction will close in the second Quarter. It will market both the medicines manufactured by CiplaQCIL and those manufactured by Cipla India: these have significant market shares of key therapeutic areas such as anti-infectives, antifungals, respiratory care and gastroenterology.
CiplaQCIL will commence the manufacture of certain over-the-counter products and medicines in the cardiovascular and metabolic therapeutic categories to bolster the portfolio available to the retail sector.
The executive chairman of CiplaQCIL, Emmanuel Katongole, said: “The 2019/2020 financial year was a challenging year especially given the Zambia issues and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company is intent on returning to significant revenue growth in 20/21 as well as, of course, a return to profitability. We can be proud though despite numerous challenges, CiplaQCIL continues to deliver on its ethos of “Caring for Life” by producing quality, affordable medicines to ensure that people have access to life-saving medication.”