Shasun Pharma Solutions sales slump after order slashed

The North East operation of Indian pharmaceutical company Shasun saw sales slump by 18% after one of the company’s major customers slashed its order volume

Dudley-based Shasun Pharma Solutions, which makes pharmaceutical products and fine chemicals, has received more than £20m worth of investment from its owners, who acquired the firm seven years ago – investment it has repaid by bringing in sales of more than £250m.

But latest accounts for the company, which was recently visited by Mike Nithavrianakis, the India-based British deputy high commissioner, show the firm’s revenues dropped by 18% to £34.51m for the year ended March 31 from the heady £42.17m it posted the year before. Pre-tax profits also fell by 24% to £3.75m from £4.97m.

The firm said the decline in sales was mainly due to an order reduction from a major customer, and the balance sheet shows the drop in its export sales.

A breakdown in turnover showed sales had increased over the year in all markets – UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, America and India – except for the United States, which dropped from £16m to £6m.

The US sales last year accounted for more than half of all turnover – 63% – so losing £10m made a major dent in the finances to the year ended March 31, when US sales accounted for 47%.

However, the director’s report accompanying the accounts, filed at Companies House, says the decline in turnover was offset by winning new contract over the time period.

The timing of drug approval by government agencies also affects the phasing of sales, but the firm said it counters this through the expansion of its customer base and product portfolios.

The report said: “The company, through its excellent level of service, coupled with its proprietary technology and innovation, is well placed to take advantage of the increase outsourcing opportunities presented by both established and emerging pharma customers.

“The company remains confident that based upon current orders and a series of new business opportunities identified for 2013-2014, it can sustain and grow sales from current levels, these revenues.”

The figures showed UK sales rose to £2.46m from £2.04m, European sales shot up to £12.14m from £10.67m and Asian, African, American and Indian revenues were £3.62m, compared to £2.57m for the same period last year.

John Wiper, president of Shasun Pharma Solutions, said: “Despite a reduction in demand for one of our products at Dudley, SPSL has been very successful in capturing new business and growing our market share of our other established products, enabling us to protect profitability in a volatile and highly-competitive market.

“We have a good sales plan and growth strategy in place which is based upon a wide range of pipeline and marketed products.

“We have a great team at Dudley and through our people, we have won a number of exciting new projects, some of which we have received government grant funding in support of the investment needed. Overall, this was a robust performance in a challenging environment.”

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