By Peter Egwuatu
NEIMETH International Pharmaceuticals Plc has lamented the low share price of the company as traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.
The Managing Director/CEO of Neimeth, Dr. Ebere Igboko Ekpunobi, in a chat with Vanguard said “ We are not comfortable with our share price as we want it to reflect the current performance of the company. We have done a lot to reposition the company since I came on board and would like to see our price on the upward trend.”
She disclosed that the company would be having its Annual General Meeting, AGM this week, saying “that will be my first meeting with the shareholders and we will let them know how we have improved in our performance despite the economic challenges.”
Ekpunobi revealed that the pharmaceutical sector experienced a slow growth rate of 4.4 per cent when measured in the local currency.
The major constraining factors for local pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Nigeria included limited access to foreign currency for importing raw materials, relative higher tariff on imported raw materials, as compared to finished products, abundance of counterfeit drugs, lower health spending by the government, and a lower proportion of government spending on pharmaceutical as a per cent of total health expenditure.” She stated that notwithstanding the challenges the company improved in its performance as its bounced back to profitability.
According to her “The company recorded Profit Before Tax, PBT of N95.4 million, which is a reversal of the last year’s loss position of N315.8 million, though falls short of our projected PBT. The Profit After Tax, PAT for the year ended September, 2016 stood at N65.093 million from a loss of N335.684 million in the corresponding period of 2015. We will disclose the full performance of the year under review to our shareholders at the AGM.”
On how the company bounced back to profitability, she said “We employed three strategic imperatives to anchor our company transformation in the short term. Firstly, we revitalise our sales and generate more revenue. The sales maintained a positive gradient through the year and ended on N2.002 billion, short of the budget, but a 37 per cent improvement over the previous year; secondly, we reduced cost and optimise efficiency.
The cost of sales was 38 per cent of sales, enabling a 62 percent production margin; thirdly, we transformed the organisational culture towards a new Neimeth. In fact, I must commend the staff and management who embraced these strategic imperatives as it has started yielding fruits. We are not there yet, but we will continue to stay the course of the transformation we initiated in the past year.”