Wednesday, September 11, 2013

PBS changes weigh on Sigma profit

Earnings Season

Sigma Pharmaceuticals has reported a half-year profit of $16 million, down 38 per cent.

The drug maker and chemist owner said the fall was due to difficult trading conditions and changes to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

Its earnings were also impacted by a one-off debt provision of $4.1 million relating to the collapse of pharmacy chain Harrisons and settlement costs relating to a court dispute with Swiss firm Vifor International.

"Sigma has delivered a solid performance in a difficult trading environment with PBS growth virtually non-existent and retail conditions subdued," chief executive Mark Hooper said. "While the pharmacy sector continues to face challenges, Sigma has undertaken a number of important initiatives to grow sales, including the industry-leading Amcal and Guardian e-commerce platforms that were launched in mid-2013."

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Sigma's sales revenue for the six months to July 31 was up 3.1 per cent from the previous corresponding period to $1.4 billion.

Its earnings before interest and tax was down 29 per cent to $24.8 million.

About 70 per cent of Sigma's revenue comes from the distribution of government-subsidised drugs to chemists.

It is the owner of the Amcal and Guardian chemist chains.


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