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Which drugmakers will mark over ₩1 trillion sales this year?
  • By So Jae-hyeon
  • Published 2018.11.13 13:08
  • Updated 2018.11.13 13:08
  • comments 0

Pharmaceutical industry officials are paying keen attention which companies will record more than 1 trillion won ($879.7 million) sales this year. Last year, Yuhan Corp., GC Pharma, and Kwangdong Pharmaceutical posted more than 1 trillion won revenue.

Sources said Yuhan, GC, Celltrion, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical are likely to see their annual sales exceed 1 trillion won this year.

Yuhan’s sales until the third quarter have already surpassed the 1 trillion won mark, according to its public disclosure. The company’s revenue between the first and the third quarter recorded 1.09 trillion, up 1.5 percent from 1.07 trillion won a year ago.

GC achieved more than 1 trillion won annual sales last year for the first time. Until the third quarter this year, the company’s revenue marked 988.2 billion won, up 2.8 percent from 961.6 billion won a year earlier. The drugmaker is likely to reach the 1 trillion won annual revenue this year.

Celltrion, which sells biosimilars around the world, has seen its revenue amounting to 739.5 billion won in the third quarter, a 9.6 percent increase from 674.8 billion won a year earlier. The four-quarter earnings remain to be seen but the company’s annual sales may exceed 1 trillion won this year considering the robust sales of its biosimilar drugs Remsima, Herzuma, and Truxima in Europe, analysts said.

Celltrion’s 1 trillion won sales will be more meaningful because it can be an excellent example of a Korean pharmaceutical firm achieving success in the global market, industry officials said. Celltrion’s revenue from the overseas market is larger than that from the domestic market.

Hanmi Pharm is also challenging the 1 trillion won sales this year. The company led the pharmaceutical and biotech boom by clinching a large-size licensing-out deal. Its accumulated sales recorded 722.2 billion won in the third quarter, up 5.6 percent from 683.9 billion won a year earlier.

As Hanmi posted about 240 billion won quarterly revenue this year, it might see the annual sales exceeding 1 trillion won for the first time in the company’s history.

Kwangdong Pharma, enjoying robust sales growth from mineral water Samdasoo, and Kolmar Korea, which acquired CJ HealthCare, may also record 1 trillion won sales this year, depending on their four-quarter earnings.

In contrast, Chong Kun Dang and Daewoong Pharmaceutical are unlikely to meet its 1 trillion won sales goal.

Chong Kun Dang’s accumulated third-quarter revenue marked 690.5 billion won, up 7.8 percent from 640.3 billion won a year earlier. However, the company failed to meet the sales expectations in the ophthalmology market and faced fierce competition in vaccine sales. Thus, it will be hard to expect a dramatic surge in sales in the fourth quarter, observers said. The company’s revenue is likely to hover around 900 billion won this year, they said.

Daewoong Pharm, which has formed rivalry against Chong Kun Dang, is also unlikely to achieve its 1 trillion won sales goal. Although its accumulated sales went up by 5 percent to 686 billion won in the third quarter, it would fail to see sales exceeding 1 trillion won this year, analysts said.

“Recording 1 trillion won in sales is very significant for pharmaceutical companies. That is why they are trying very hard to meet the goal,” an official at a drug company said. “But local drugmakers have limitations that they always have to prepare for risks of original drug developers and manufacturers’ demand for a return of the sales rights.”

Many domestic companies earn revenue from medicines developed by multinational firms rather than self-developed drugs, which needs improvement, the official added.


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