Fitch Report claims Indian pharma companies’ sales to rise in FY21 | Business Upturn

Fitch Report claims Indian pharma companies’ sales to rise in FY21

Indian pharmaceutical companies’ sales will grow robustly in the financial year ending March 2022 (FY22) as sales normalize in categories affected by the pandemic in the previous year, said Fitch Ratings. Most Indian pharma companies reported resilient operating performance in FY21, benefitting from gradual stabilization after 1QFY21, geographical diversification and sales of pandemic-related drugs.

Fitch expects sales of drugs used to treat acute medical conditions and elective procedures to continue to recover in FY22. Sales in these categories fell in FY21 as travel restrictions reduced doctor visits and hospitals prioritized Covid-19 Covid-19 treatment over elective procedures.  Sales of some of these products are still 10% below pre-pandemic levels, although they started to recover with the easing of curbs.

The risk of further waves of infection remains significant in markets with slow roll-outs of vaccination, including India, but healthcare systems are better prepared after the second wave, which should limit the impact.

We believe revenue in key markets, including the US and Europe, will also benefit from a healthy pipeline of generic drugs and further progress in launches of speciality drugs by larger companies. This should help to offset the effects of continued price erosion, particularly in the US. Several companies have taken steps to remediate shortcomings pointed out by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) previously in their plants, but travel restrictions last year. Progress in resolving the USFDA issues after the resumption of inspections could accelerate new launches.

Fitch expects costs to rise to normal levels in FY22 as companies step up marketing and R & D activities. Nonetheless, higher sales will cushion the impact on margins. The resilient operating performance enabled Glenmark and Jubilant Pharma to proactively refinance their US dollar notes maturing in 2021. Most companies were prudent about growth investments in FY21, which enabled debt repayments. We expect capex to rise in FY22, but this should not affect the strong financial flexibility at most companies, it said.