ZB

AFT Pharmaceuticals more than doubles full-year profit

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 3:19pm
Drugmaker AFT Pharmaceuticals more than doubled its full-year profit. Photo / 123RF
Drugmaker AFT Pharmaceuticals more than doubled its full-year profit. Photo / 123RF

AFT Pharmaceuticals more than doubles full-year profit

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 3:19pm

By RNZ 

The drugmaker AFT Pharmaceuticals has more than doubled its full-year profit, with licensing of its flagship pain relief drug Maxigesic delivering strong results for the company. 

The shares jumped, rising 39c or 12.15 per cent to $3.60 on the NZX. 

Managing director and chief executive Dr Hartley Atkinson said Maxigesic performed as well as expected, but the company's broad portfolio of other products, like its lubricating eye drops, also delivered. 

"Some products went down and were impacted by Covid [and] other products improved, but it's really the breadth of our portfolio [that delivered results] so I wouldn't really say Covid was an advantage for us, we really achieved this result despite Covid," he said. 

The company also introduced a dividend policy, with the board intending to pay its maiden dividend in 2023, in the range of 20-30 per cent of net profit. 

AFT said the second half of the year was stronger, with a traditional sales boost jump around Christmas, and it was also given a boost from previously delayed product launches. 

It said all its regions posted double-digit revenue growth, with its international business supported by the Maxigesic licensing income. 

New Zealand revenue grew by 14.9 per cent, while sales in Australia grew by 12.3 per cent. Its Asian sales grew by nearly a quarter and the rest of the international business grew by nearly a third. 

"We actually did better than we expected in the local New Zealand market, we just made good strong steady progress. Australia performed pretty much as expected, international and Asia we got higher growth from a lower base," Atkinson said. 

AFT said the tablet form of Maxigesic is now sold in 46 countries, including most of the major markets in Europe, and the company was hopeful of regulatory approvals for tablets in the United States later in 2022. 

However, its intravenous formulation, Maxigesic IV, had its first launches in Europe and in the US, after the Federal Drug Administration accepted AFT's filing application to register the medicine in the US market. 

The company said it saw considerable opportunities for growth and expected operating profit for the year ended March 2023 to range between $27 million and $32m.