Among multinational pharmaceuticals’ offshoots operating in the nation, Bayer Korea and Fresenius Medical Care Korea remitted the largest amount of net profits to their parent companies, a local media outlet said.
According to the Daily Pharm’s analysis of audit reports of the Korean branches of 13 multinational pharmaceutical giants, the two branches of German-based showed the highest dividend propensity last year.
Dividend propensity refers to a proportion of dividend payouts out of net profits. As Korean units of non-listed foreign firms send dividends to parent companies, their dividend propensity has been controversial as unusually high, compared with those of their Korean competitors.
For example, Fresenius Medical Care Korea’s dividend payout ratio out of net income stood at 116.3 percent, the highest dividend propensity among the units of multinational drugmakers operating here. It paid 13 billion won ($11.4 million) in dividends last year. Bayer Korea came next with 93.3 percent, also 13 billion won in dividends.
Sanofi Genzyme Korea followed the two companies with 75.55 percent (5 billion won), Sanofi Aventis Korea with 75.05 percent (10 billion won), Roche Korea with 68.36 percent (15 billion won), Korea Otsuka Pharmaceuticals with 63.83 percent (15.7 billion won), Janssen Korea with 50 percent (3.8 billion won), and Pfizer Korea with 0.05 percent (12 million won).
The Korean unit of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which sent home the highest portion of revenues as dividends among subsidiaries in Korea in 2017, did not make any cash dividends last year although it recorded a net profit of 8.2 billion won in 2018.
It was the first time over the past six years that GSK’s dividend ratio recorded zero. In the previous years, the figure stood at 231 percent in 2013, 3,340 percent in 2014, 38 percent in 2015, 379 percent in 2016, and 170 percent in 2017.
In addition to GSK, the Korean offshoots of Merck, Novo Nordisk, Galderma, and UCB did not pay cash dividends even though they were profitable last year. Kyowa Kirin Korea, AstraZeneca Korea and Novartis Korea did not write in dividends in their audit reports.
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