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South African drugmaker Aspen expects 7-11% full-year earnings growth

PUBLISHED: Thu Aug 27 2020 | Thu, 27 Aug 2020 12:55:25 GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd expects growth in its headline earnings per share (HEPS) from continuing operations of between 7-11% for the full year that ended June 30, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

HEPS is the main profit measure in South Africa.

Its HEPS is likely to be between 12.39 rand ($0.7322) and 12.86 rand, it said.

Most pharmaceutical companies were declared essential operations during the country’s coronavirus lockdown, imposed at the end of March, but as most people stayed at home demand for over-the-counter medicines declined.

Revenue growth for the year will be between 8% and 10%, while it will be between 3% and 5% in constant exchange rates, as the rand weakened against most other currencies, Aspen said.

South Africa’s biggest supplier of drugs said the company benefited from positive demand trends in products used in the clinical management of COVID-19, stockpiling of healthcare products and advanced filling of prescriptions during early and peak periods of the spread of the virus.

But most of these benefits were offset due to a decrease in demand as the pandemic progressed, delays in elective or planned surgeries in most regions and reduced infection rates in non-COVID communicable diseases due to social distancing, the company said.

Aspen, which has a 22% market share in sub-Saharan Africa, said impairments for the year were expected to be approximately 1.5 billion rand, as compared with 3.8 billion rand seen last year.

($1 = 16.9224 rand)

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