Niche drugs manufacturer Quantum Pharma Plc has increased revenues by more than 15% to £61.7m, on the back of acquisitions and European market penetration.
The Burnopfield-headquartered group reported pre-tax profit of £1.09m for the year to the end of January, up from a pre-tax loss of £2.6m.
Chief executive officer Andrew Scaife hailed the year as “transformational” and pointed to the £6.9m acquisition of Greek pharmaceutical developers Lamda earlier this year as a key step in growing its European market presence.
The deal doubled the number of pipeline of medicines that Quantum has in development to around 60 — a pipeline that analysts estimate holds more than £50m in revenue opportunity.
Mr Scaife suggested even this estimate was conservative given that many of the medicines were high margin. He added: “We have a fantastic platform to grow, and in the very near future we will begin to reap the benefits of that platform. We’re extremely excited about the future in the short and long term.”
Following its successful listing on AIM in December 2014, Quantum significantly reduced debt from its balance sheet, reducing net debt to £9m from £49.7m the year previously.
Finance director Martin Such said growth in underlying EBITDA from £9.1m to £12.2m represented progress across the whole of Quantum’s business.
During the year Quantum’s Colonis subsidiary — the ideas generation arm of the group — launched its first licensed product which will be used to treat and prevent vitamin D deficiency.
The Aviticol 20,000 IU Capsules received approval from the MHRA in December and despite a competitive marketplace, Quantum said it had managed to get exclusive and preferential deals with pharmacy chains and wholesalers.
The group has also secured a three-year contract to supply Well Pharmacy, formerly The Co-operative Pharmacy and an existing Quantum customer.
Research and development expenditure increased from £1.5m to £3.1m during the period, and both men were keen to emphasise its importance to Quantum’s strategy.
Mr Scaife explained that Quantum’s focus would continue to be niche products and the improvement of existing generic drugs.
The firm has recently adapted a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease — turning it from a liquid drop into a soluble tablet that delivers the correct dosage without the need for a patient to measure it out.
Mr Scaife said: “This type of activity is vital to us, because if we can improve products and get them right, then clinicians are more likely to commission them.
“As we evolve our strategy over the coming years we will begin to focus and concentrate on specific therapeutic areas.”
The firm proposed a final dividend of 0.25p per share, pro rata, which is subject to approval at the annual general meeting on July 21.
Quantum employs 370 staff, around 240 of which are based at its head office operations in Burnopfield.