Interim Report Q2 2021: Karo Pharma
HUDDINGE, Sweden, July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- April – June
 Alternative Performance Measures (APM), note 4 for further information.
Comments by CEO Christoffer Lorenzen
The second quarter of 2021 finished with a revenue growth of 9% compared to the year prior, an improvement versus the first quarter that realized a negative revenue growth of -10%. The organic growth came in at 8% but total growth was helped by the acquisitions of Pevaryl® from Johnson & Johnson and the portfolio of Nordic consumer healthcare brands from Teva. The organic growth reflects, in part, that last year's sales in comparable months was negatively impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns. It also reflects that consumer traffic into physical channels (pharmacies, drug stores and convenience stores) is increasing. The business, however, continues to be impacted by COVID-19 and reduced infection rates and doctor's visits as compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. This continues to impact the business, notably the Specialty products and the Pain, Cough & Cold categories.
We continue to develop Karo Pharma in line with our strategy:
- We have now completed most of the investments into the operating platform required to support an internationalizing and growing business. We recently completed the roll-out of our ERP system and now have a single, streamlined, state-of-the-art financial system. We have also completed systems implementations in supply and operations planning and regulatory that digitize and scale operations. We will continue to invest to develop and improve our operating platform, however, we shift focus to incremental improvements of the platform and to investments to support our commercial functions.
- In terms of M&A we have progressed all integration projects and are tracking to plan. The Proct® and Teva portfolios are already fully integrated. The Pevaryl® portfolio transfer and integration are progressing and will be completed in Q3. We have also completed the carve-out of the Hospital Supply business and on July 1 we announced a further divestment of a portfolio of 12 brands to Evolan Pharma. The divestment to Evolan marks the completion of a portfolio optimization and restructure project, in which non-core businesses and brands have been divested.
- In terms of our commercial footprint, the business outside of Scandinavia grew 24% in the first 6 months and now constitutes 47% of Karo's business versus 37% same period last year. The Italian market is the latest addition to Karo's directly served markets and we now have a core commercial team staffed and are executing on a clear go-to-market strategy with a rented sales force, which provides improved access to Italian pharmacies.
- We are accelerating the build-up of our e-commerce and digital team and capabilities. In Q2 we on-boarded a new Head of digital marketing and e-commerce, Fredrik Thorsén, who is a member of the Corporate Management Team. Fredrik brings strong experience from the world of e-commerce and international consumer brands marketing to Karo Pharma. Most recently he spent 12 years with The Absolute Company.
The EBITDA for the first half of the year came in at MSEK 440.4, which corresponds to a growth of 1% compared to the year prior. The gross margins improved by 1% to 58.6% compared to the year prior and we have tightly managed the cost base and continue to run a lean operation. We are gradually increasing our advertising and promotional spend levels and this, combined with the investments into e-commerce will be of fundamental importance to drive growth looking ahead.
Significant events after period end
On July 1, 2021, Karo Pharma closed the divestment of a portfolio consisting of 12 brands to Evolan. (Citodon®, Morfin Special, Sincon®, Bamse®, Oliva®, Karbasal®, Complete®, Nazamer®, Ferromax®, Tussin®, Samin® and Conotrane®). The portfolio had a turnover of SEK 62 million in 2020 with a growth of -4% versus the previous year. The divestment completes the efforts to refine and optimize Karo's portfolio after the acquisitions done over the last few years.
The Annual Report 2020 was released March 30, 2021 and the Annual General Meeting was held April 21, 2021.
About Karo Pharma
Karo Pharma offers "Smart choices for everyday healthcare". We own and commercialize reliable original brands within prescription drugs and over over-the-counter consumer products. Our products are available in over 60 countries with the core in Europe and the Nordics region. The headquarter of Karo Pharma is in Stockholm and the company is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, Mid Cap.
This information is information that Karo Pharma AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, on July 22, 2021, at 08.00 CET.
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Company Codes: Bloomberg:KARO@SS, ISIN:SE0007464888, RICS:KARO.ST, Stockholm:KARO
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