Australian Pharmaceutical Industries’ bumper half-year

Priceline, pharmacy, APIAustralian Pharmaceutical Industries has reported underlying net profit after tax of $25.3 million, representing an 18.1 per cent increase on the prior corresponding period (pcp).

Total revenue for the six months to February 29 of this year was up 4.4 per cent to $1.79 billion with EBIT up 15.6 per cent to 44.6 million.

“API has again delivered strong growth for shareholders through executing a clear strategy that is centred on building the Priceline Pharmacy network while generating sustainable returns through pharmaceutical distribution,” said API CEO and MD, Stephen Roche.

The Priceline network of stores now has 425 store with overall retail sales for the period up 7.1 per cent to $583.4 million.

The brand’s ‘Sister Club’ loyalty program grew to 6.1 million members.

“Our sales growth record over recent years is due to our disciplined approach to delivering what the customer wants,” said Roche.

Pharmacy distribution for the company saw revenue growth of 1.5 per cent on the pcp, to $1.23 billion with a 1.0 per cent increase in gross profit.

“Tailoring our services to pharmacists’ needs has enabled us to generate sustainable returns from our business despite intense competition and on-going impacts of regulatory changes,” said Roche. “The suite of services available across Soul Pattinson, Pharmacist Advice and our Club Premium program underpins the ongoing success of our relationship with independent pharmacists.”

API’s New Zealand operations saw sales improve by 12.1 per cent ‘on the back of increased penetration of the Australian market by its key private label brands.’

The API board declared a fully franked interim dividend of 2.5 cents per share, a 25 per cent increase on the pcp.

“We expect to continue to generate sales growth and efficiencies from the current business that will further build on the positive returns to shareholders,” said Roche.

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