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4 drugmakers’ profits turn to losses
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2018.03.21 11:38
  • Updated 2018.03.21 11:38
  • comments 0

Among KOSDAQ-listed pharmaceutical companies, four firms’ operating profits turned from black to red last year, according to each company’s disclosed financial data. The four are TissueGene, Kolon Life Science, Prostemics, and JW Shinyak.

Under the financial regulation, listed firms whose revenue or profit structure changed more than 30 percent (15 percent for large-scale corporations) should disclose the changes.

According to Korea Biomedical Review’s analysis on drugmakers with a market cap of more than 300 billion won ($280 million), 28 firms disclosed such changes of which 11 saw their operating profits rise and the rest 15 saw theirs fall, last year.

The 11 drugmakers with a year-on-year increase in operating profit are Green Cross Cell, Medipost, GemVax & KAEL, Anterogen, Hugel, CMG Pharmaceutical, Medytox, KyungDong Pharm, Genexin, Sam Chun Dang Pharm, and LegoChem Biosciences.

The 15 firms with a drop in profit are TissueGene, Kolon Life Science, Prostemics, JW Shinyak, Isu Abxis, Binex, ViroMed, Mezzion Pharma, Cha Biotech, Celltrion Pharm, Peptron, Green Cross Lab Cell, Tego Science, Celltrion Healthcare, and Kyulokeom.

Despite a profit growth at Huons and Huons Global, the two firms were excluded from the analysis because they recently reorganized their business structure by separating holding and operating entities.

Green Cross Cell achieved a 301 percent growth in operating profit last year, which was the largest among the 28 companies. The biotech firm attributed the strong performance to a 38 percent year-on-year increase in sales volume of “Immuncell-LC,” a cell immunotherapy, and a 68 percent expansion in sales value.

Medipost’s operating profit increase was the second largest with 99.9 percent, as its cord blood bank and stem cell therapy business went well. GemVax ranked third with 97 percent profit growth, followed by Anterogen with 62 percent, Hugel with 61 percent, and CMG Pharmaceutical with 50.5 percent.

Hugel recently said in a public filing that “overseas sales of botulinum toxin products are growing and operating profit has increased due to rising local and overseas sales of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers.”

On the other hand, TissueGene, Kolon Life Science, Prostemics, and JW Shinyak turned to a deficit among the 15 firms with a decline in operating profit.

The slide in earnings at Kolon Life Science and TissueGene was attributed to high research and development costs of Invossa, a gene therapy for knee osteoarthritis, and the base effect of the 2016 licensing-out deal.

Isu Abxis’ operating profit plunged 506 percent last year from a year earlier, although it was not in the red. The decline reportedly stemmed from the preparation cost for the market entry of Abcertin, a treatment for Gaucher disease, into the U.S. and EU, and the cost increase due to the completion of non-clinical trials on anticancer drug ISU104.

In Korea, listed firms are obligated to disclose changes in sales or profit structure if either sales or operating profit or net profit changes more than 30 percent (15 percent for large companies) or operating profit turns to black or red, from a year earlier.


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