Celltrion, the nation’s leading biosimilar manufacturer, said its annual sales exceeded 1 trillion won ($834.7 million) last year. With the robust earnings, the company joined the list of pharmaceutical and biotech firms with over 1 trillion won annual sales.
The company said it recorded 1.12 trillion won in sales, and 378.1 billion won in operating profit last year. The figures are up 14.9 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively, compared to a year earlier.
With the release of the subcutaneous (SC) version of Remsima, an autoimmune biosimilar, in Europe, and oncology biosimilar Truxima in the U.S., the expanded supplies of the two biosimilars contributed to the surge in sales, the company said. The resumption of the supply of the intravenous (IV) version of Remsima also helped boost the revenue.
The company also attributed the revenue increase to the sales growth of Celltrion Pharm’s Godex, a prescription treatment for liver disease.
A better product portfolio centering on Remsima SC and Truxima pushed up operating income year-on-year. “Despite a rise in costs in the process of securing growth engines, such as the introduction of outsourcing contract manufacturing organization (CMO) and the production of biosimilar clinical materials, the operating profit margin is maintaining at a stable level,” Celltrion said in a statement.
However, the fourth-quarter earnings were lower than market expectations. Celltrion’s quarterly sales and operating profit jumped by 57.8 percent and 159.5 percent, respectively, to 382.7 billion won and 114.2 billion won. However, both figures were about 100 billion won lower than the market had expected.
Celltrion will perform even better this year, analysts said.
“This year, the cost of goods sold-to-sales ratio is expected to decline. Prices in Europe have stabilized, and high-margin Remsima SC is also expected to maintain its price,” said Heo Hye-min, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.
She predicted that Celltrion’s operating profit margin would recover in three years to hit 41 percent. Heo advised investors to maintain the “buy” position and raised the target stock price to 240,000 won.
Shin Jae-hoon, an analyst at Hanwha Investment & Securities, said investors should pay attention to Remsima SC’s penetration of the European market, better profitability through the efficient manufacturing process, and an increase in the U.S. market share of three biosimilars, this year.
“Remsima SC sales began in Europe, and the company sought to change all indications of the drug, including inflammatory bowel disease in January. The company also plans to lower the costs further,” he said.
Shin maintained the “buy” opinion, and the target share price at 280,000 won.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>