Alliance Pharma ready to hit acquisition trail again with £20m fund, shareholders are told

May 21, 2014

Chippenham-based specialised pharmaceutical firm Alliance Pharma today told shareholders it is continuing to look for acquisition targets on which to spend some of its £20m-plus war chest.

The firm, which buys underperforming drugs brands and realises their potential through investment, has an acquisition bank facility of more than £20m.

In January it acquired thyroid treatment Irena in Germany from subsidiaries of pharma giant Bayer – the latest in a string of takeovers that have underpinned its growth.

In 2012 it spent £1.5m acquiring two skin treatment brands to add to its portfolio of established dermatology medicines. Acne treatment Quinoderm and Ceanel, a shampoo treatment for scalp psoriasis, which were bought from Ferndale Pharmaceuticals.

At today’s AGM out-going chairman Michael Gatenby said: “We continue to search actively for acquisition opportunities.” 

He described trading in the first four months of 2014 as in line with expectations, with revenue of £15.2m.

This followed a “robust performance” last year when Alliance grew revenue to £45.5m and increased pre-tax profits by 11% to £12m.

Among the top performers in its portfolio of drugs was its Hydromol dry skin treatment, which in the 12 months to April grew revenues by 18%.

Production volumes of its Ashton and Parsons Infants’ Powders – a natural remedy for teething pain increased significantly with the introduction of the new packaging machinery, he added.

“We are now able, for the first time, to meet demand fully and are starting a promotional campaign behind the product. Revenue from Ashton and Parsons Infants’ Powders in the first four months of 2014 was £600,000 – nearly 50% higher than the whole of 2013,” he said.

Andrew Smith, who assumed the chairmanship immediately after today’s AGM, added: “We expect trading performance this year to be in line with our plans. We continue to work towards delivering further earnings-enhancing acquisitions to outperform those plans.”

Mr Gatenby told the AGM: "It has been a privilege to chair Alliance for the past 10 years, a period in which the company has evolved into a profitable, cash-generative business with a portfolio of more than 60 pharmaceutical products. I am confident that Alliance will continue on this growth path in future.”


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