Industry in brief | Daiichi Sankyo, Genomma, BioGaia

Industry in brief | Daiichi Sankyo, Genomma, BioGaia

6 May 2021 - Deborah Wilkes

Daiichi Sankyo, Genomma and BioGaia have released financial results.

Daiichi Sankyo reports annual results

Sales by Daiichi Sankyo's OTC business in Japan fell by 1.8% year-on-year to JPY67.2 billion (USD0.62 billion) in the year ended 31 March 2021. The Japanese pharmaceutical company said the fall was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese OTC business accounted for 7.0% of Daiichi Sankyo's total sales, which decreased by 2.0% to JPY963 billion.

Genomma reports mixed OTC results

Mexico’s Genomma Lab reported OTC sales up by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2021, despite significant declines in its home market and the US.

The company said social distancing measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic had reduced sales of cold, cough and flu products, and the comparison was with the first quarter of 2020 when sales were boosted by panic buying associated with the pandemic.

Genomma's OTC sales rose to MXN1.77 billion (USD88.8 million) in the quarter, representing growth of 3.8% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The OTC business generated 49.9% of the company's total sales. The rest came from sales of personal care products, which were up by 9.1%.

Looking at countries/regions, Genomma’s OTC sales in Mexico dropped by 7.8% to MXN803 million and OTC sales in the US were down by 26.5% to MXN164 million. By contrast, OTC sales in Latin America rose by 31.4% to MXN804 million.

Genomma’s total sales – including personal care products as well as OTC – were up by 6.4% to MXN3.55 billion.

Chief executive officer Jorge Luis Brake said the company had achieved a “solid first quarter 2021 despite the significant impacts from COVID-19”.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) were up by 6.8% to MXN725 million in the first quarter of 2021, giving an EBITDA margin of 20.4%

Genomma is present in 18 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and the US.

BioGaia releases first-quarter results

Swedish probiotics specialist BioGaia reported worldwide sales up by 10% as reported to SEK202 million (USD24.2 million) in the first quarter of 2021. Organic growth excluding a negative currency effect of 11 percentage points was 21%

The rise follows a fall of 3% in 2020 when BioGaia said the COVID-19 pandemic had taken its toll during the year. Sales in the first and second quarters of 2020 increased by 7% and 10% respectively, but the company recorded falls of 21% and 10% in the third and fourth quarters respectively.

Isabelle Ducellier, BioGaia’s president and chief executive officer, said it was “satisfactory” to be able to deliver a sales increase of 10% compared to the first quarter of 2020. However, she said the company remained “cautious” in its assessment of sales growth until the global situation had normalised.

Ducellier commented that the growing importance of online sales had benefited BioGaia in the US and China.

BioGaia was “giving high priority to increasing its online distribution in several markets”, she said, noting that this was expected to “further strengthen sales development even when we can return to more normal times”.

“We have upped the pace of our digital route to the market in terms of both digital marketing and e-commerce initiatives via marketplaces such as Amazon, local webshops and online pharmacies,” added Ducellier. “The goal is to be in all the places where our consumers are.”

In the first quarter of 2021, BioGaia’s Paediatrics business recorded sales up by 13% to SEK162 million, while sales by the Adult Health business were down by 4% to SEK38.7 million.

The largest geographic region for BioGaia was Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) but sales dropped by 20% to SEK94.2 million. The company said sales has fallen primarily in Italy, Spain and Belgium.

Sales in the Americas doubled to SEK65.4 million. The company said sales had increased primarily in the US, Brazil and Guatemala.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 30% to SEK42.4 million, with sales primarily increasing in Japan, Taiwan, Australia and China.

Operating profit was up by 16% to SEK64.2 million, giving an operating margin of 32%.

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