Hikma backs annual outlook on demand for its new drugs

Hikma, founded in Jordan in 1978, has also been keeping a tight check on costs and slashed them by 60.4 percent in 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 17 May 2019

Hikma backs annual outlook on demand for its new drugs

  • The drugmaker’s injectables division, its largest, has been growing despite increased competition
  • New launches have been crucial to reinvigorating Hikma’s generics and injectables units

Hikma Pharmaceuticals on Friday backed its forecast for the full year, boosted by higher demand for its new drugs and generic medicines.
The drugmaker’s injectables division, its largest, has been growing despite increased competition as it expands manufacturing capacity and signs on more partners to widen its pool of offerings.
“Across our three businesses, we are driving good demand for our broad product portfolio and recent product launches,” Chief Executive Officer Siggi Olafsson said, adding that 2019 was “off to a good start.”
New launches have been crucial to reinvigorating Hikma’s generics and injectables units that have been affected by pricing pressures in the United States, from where the company gets more than half its revenue.
Hikma, founded in Jordan in 1978, has also been keeping a tight check on costs and slashed them by 60.4 percent in 2018.
Jefferies analysts said they were encouraged by the company’s comments on growth across divisions, and said Hikma’s forecast affirmation was not a surprise.
Hikma expects annual revenue from its injectables business to be between $850 million and $900 million and its generics unit to be between $650 million and $700 million.
“Several market commentators had been flagging ongoing tailwinds in the injectables business, and ... were hopeful of an uplift to guidance, or commentary to suggest Hikma might land at the upper end of its guidance range,” Peel Hunt analysts said.
Analysts on average were expecting 2019 revenue of $875.7 million for the injectables business and $680.4 million for generics, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.


Saudi Arabia looks to cut spending in bid to shrink deficit

Updated 01 October 2020

Saudi Arabia looks to cut spending in bid to shrink deficit

  • Saudi Arabia has issued about SR84 billion in sukuk in the year to date

LONDON: Saudi Arabia plans to reduce spending next year by about 7.5 percent to SR990 billion ($263.9 billion) as it seeks to reduce its deficit. This compares to spending of SR1.07 trillion this year, it said in a preliminary budget statement.

The Kingdom anticipates a budget deficit of about 12 percent this year falling to 5.1 percent next year.

Saudi Arabia released data on Wednesday showing that the economy contracted by about 7 percent in the second quarter as regional economies faced the twin blow of the coronavirus pandemic and continued oil price weakness.

The unemployment rate among Saudis increased to 15.4 percent in the second quarter compared with 11.8 percent in the first quarter of the year.

The challenging headwinds facing regional economies is expected to spur activity across debt markets as countries sell bonds to help fund spending.

Saudi Arabia has already issued about SR84 billion in sukuk in the year to date.

“Over the past three years, the government has developed (from scratch) a well-functioning and increasingly deeper domestic sukuk market that has allowed it to tap into growing domestic and international demand for Shariah-compliant fixed income assets,” Moody’s said in a statement on Wednesday. 

“This, in turn, has helped diversify its funding sources compared with what was available during the oil price shock of 2015-16 and ease liquidity pressures amid a more than doubling of government financing needs this year,” the ratings agency added.