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Ramesh Shankar
Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Despite worldwide challenging situation emerging out of the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the leading Indian listed pharmaceutical companies registered an impressive performance during the financial year ended March 2021. According to a Pharmabiz study, the earnings of top 50 Indian pharma companies jumped significantly by 32% in 2020-21 and sales were also up by over 8%. The Pharmabiz study focused on listed 50 large pharmaceutical companies with sales over Rs. 550 crore during 2020-21. Majority of these pharma entities paid handsome returns to their shareholders in the form of dividend and strong earnings pushed share prices of these companies to new high. During this period, pharma shares remained in limelight as the BSE Healthcare index of 70 major pharma shares increased 75.6 per cent to 21,328 points on March 31, 2021 from 12,148 points on previous year. The sales of top 50 pharmaceutical companies increased by 7.7 per cent to Rs. 2,48,959 crore during 2020-21 from Rs. 2,31,053 crore in the previous year. Sun Pharma maintained its leading position with sales of Rs. 33,139 crore as against Rs. 32,325 crore, followed by Aurobindo Pharma Rs. 24,558 crore, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) Rs. 19,048 crore, Cipla Rs. 18,989 crore and Lupin Rs. 14,927 crore. Among the top ten companies, only Cipla and Biocon registered double digit growth in sales. Laurus Labs has recorded all-round performance and achieved the highest sales growth of 70 per cent mainly due to acquisitions and mergers.  Its sales increased to Rs. 4,814 crore from Rs. 2,832 crore in the previous year. Similarly, Morepen Laboratories’ sales climbed up smartly by 39 per cent to Rs. 1,118 crore from. Rs 853 crore in the previous year. The sales of 40 companies crossed Rs. 1,000 crore level during 2020-21 and three companies viz, Morepen Labs, Caplin Point and Suven Pharma marked sales of above Rs. 1,000 crore for the first time.
The top 50 Indian pharma companies spread their business across major countries and overcome stiff competition in the international market. The result was there for everybody to see. The profit before tax (PBT) of 50 companies increased 33 per cent to Rs. 46,848 crore during 2020-21 from Rs. 35,195 crore in the previous year. Among the top ten companies as per sales, nine companies recorded handsome growth of double digit in profits before tax and only Biocon received setback as its PBT declined slightly by 1.1 per cent. Sun Pharma’s profit before tax went up by 34.8 per cent to Rs. 7,105 crore and that of Aurobindo Pharma moved up by 20.2 per cent to Rs. 4,529 crore. Similarly, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Cipla have also shown strong growth of 55 and 51 per cent in PBT. Further, PBT of Laurus Labs, Aarti Drugs, Indoco Remedies, and Morepen Labs went up by over 100 per cent during 2020-21. Neuland Labs, IPCA Labs and Granules India also registered strong profit growth of 98 per cent, 85.4 per cent and 77 per cent respectively.  Similarly, Cadila Healthcare, Alkem Laboratories, Divi’s Labs and J B Chemicals also reported handsome growth in profit during the financial year ended March 2021. It is apparent that these Indian pharma players have been able to establish strong presence in major markets like the US and Europe as they focused on research & development. The investments in R&D activities came in handy for the top Indian companies during 2020-21 which was evident from the number of ANDAs these Indian companies bagged from the US FDA. The pharma companies should now leave no stones unturned to maintain its growth momentum.


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