Celltrion Pharm, the distribution arm of South Korea’s major biosimilar developer Celltrion, saw its operating profit rise 28.6 percent on-year in the first quarter on strong domestic sales of its liver health medication and biosimilar products.
The company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it posted 1.8 billion won ($1.51 million) in operating income on a consolidated basis in the January-March period, up 30 percent from a year ago. Revenue amounted to 38.6 billion won, up 41 percent in the same period. But net profit fell 37 percent to 2.8 billion won.
The sales increase was driven by strong demand for its liver health drug Godex and antibody biosimilars (Remsima, Truxima and Herzuma) across Korea. Sales of its flagship product Godex reached 11.5 billion won in the quarter, achieving one third of last year’s full-year performance.
(From left) Remsima, Truxima and Herzuma. [Photo by Celltrion Pharm]
Sales of the three biosimilar products amounted to 11.1 billion won, up a whopping 150 percent from a year ago. The decrease in net profit was mainly due to a non-recurring cost that incurred in the course of its combination with Celltrion’s chemical research center.
Celltrion Pharm expects its financial performance to be better in the second half thanks to full commercial production of synthetic drugs from Celltrion along with an increase in the number of licensed products.
The company said it will increase sales by expanding its presence in the global market based on its price competitiveness and product quality, placing a high bet on the upcoming completion of a production line for prefilled syringe formulations of its biosimilar products.
By Kim Byung-ho and Minu Kim
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