Making COVID-19 vaccines and better returns from markets such as Saudi Arabia accelerated Julphar's return to form. Image Credit: Supplied

For the week ended August 19, DFM closed higher by 0.83 per cent and ADX rose 0.34 per cent. The top gainers were Easy Lease Motorcycle Rental (23.92 per cent), Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co. (19.85 per cent), Al Qudra Holdings (17.46 per cent), Zee Stores (16.95 per cent), Arkan Building Materials (11.57 per cent) and Abu Dhabi Aviation Co. (11.14 per cent).

Gulf Pharmaceuticals - or Julphar - returning to profitability after three years is a big news. The pharma behemoth with a market capitalization of Dh2.10 billion reported record numbers in second quarter results. It generated Dh221.3 million in sales, reflecting an increase of 30 per cent from the same quarter last year.

Net profit from continuing operations is Dh67.3 million, marking a profit for the first time in three years. The positive trajectory has been fuelled by revenue growth in high-margin products and the manufacturing of the COVID-19 vaccine Hayat-Vax. Plus, there were cost saving measures.

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Back to familiar markets

A successful re-entry into core markets such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait continued. Progress in the divestment of non-core activities as well as a one-time gain from the settlement of outstanding balances with distributors contributed to the return to profitability. Additionally, Julphar strengthened its balance-sheet position and reduced liabilities by Dh309 million. This stemmed from the settlement of past customer obligations, a restructuring of bank loans and the divestment of non-core activities.

Last month, Julphar signed an agreement to acquire full control of Planet Pharmacies, one of the leading pharma distributors in the Gulf, in a move that will contribute to its performance from the third quarter of 2021. Julphar previously held a 40 per cent stake in Planet. The strong network of Planet provides a unique platform for Julphar to secure expansion opportunities and gives a competitive advantage within the regional healthcare sector.

Julphar's performance this quarter confirms the progress of its turnaround, which the management has been working towards as part of their vision to be a leader in pharmaceuticals in the region and beyond. Looking ahead, the company remains focused on expanding sales in key markets with its existing portfolio and at the same time accelerate the introduction of new products.