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.”