Square Pharma exports medicines worth TK 85.81m last year
Raihan M Chowdhury
Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a leading drug manufacturing company of the country, exported medicines worth Tk 85.81 million in the year ended March 31, 2005.
This is a 43 per cent rise over the export in the previous year.
"The exports are expected to rise further in the near future," one Square source told the FE Tuesday.
The pharmaceutical giant has recently explored markets in Libya and Sudan.
"After getting registration in August this year in Libya, we have received an order worth Tk 10 million from the African country," the Square source added.
Square is the first Bangladeshi company to export drugs to Libya.
Tazakistan and Tanzania are the company's next targets.
The company started its export operation in 1987. Currently, the company export medicines to 18 countries.
"We are eyeing a total of 25 countries by the end of mid-2007," said Md Mizanur Rahman, assistant general manager (marketing) of Square Pharma.
The net profit of the company rose by 29.46 per cent in the year ended March 31, 2005 over the corresponding period of the previous year.
The net profit of the company rose to Tk 1.25 billion in the period from Tk 970.04 million in 2003-04.
"The net profit margin marked the significant rise due to substantial increase in other income arising from rise in interest income, dividend income and gains from sale of marketable securities," the annual report of the company said.
The net sales turnover of the company also registered a 12.93 per cent rise to Tk 5.33 billion from Tk 4.72 billion.
The company listed on Dhaka Stock Exchange and Chittagong Stock Exchange held its 39th annual general meeting (AGM) September 21 in the city.
The AGM approved a 77 per cent cash dividend and 15 per cent stock dividend for the shareholders for the year 2004-05.
The company had disbursed a 70 per cent cash dividend and 20 per cent stock dividend in the previous year.
The company witnessed a 13.08 per cent growth in 2004 while the national market growth was 8.60 per cent, the annual report said.
Presenting an overview of the pharmaceutical sector, the report said the sector attained a lower growth at 8.60 per cent in 2004 as against 5.90 per cent in 2003.
"The lower growth rate of national pharmaceuticals market may be attributed to various factors such as lower public expenditure on health care, natural calamities including floods, cyclones and lower agro-crop harvest," the Square report said.
The country's pharmaceutical industry now occupies 95 per cent of the domestic medicine market worth $ 503 million.
According to available statistics, there are 164 pharmaceutical companies in the country. Of them, about 25 companies are big and they produce high quality medicines.
Bangladesh earned $ 21.26 million in 2004-05 fiscal by exporting pharmaceutical products to some 60 countries showing a whopping 67.53 per cent rise over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
A total of 25 companies are listed in pharmaceuticals and chemical sector on the Dhaka Stock Exchange. Their total share capital is worth Tk 2.99 billion.
According to pharmaceutical sector experts, Bangladesh should take full advantage of the scopes created under the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).