Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) posted strong growth, boosted by acquisitions, as overseas sales surpassed domestic revenues for the first time ever.
The company’s star international brands performed well, led by Kelo-cote, a skin treatment.
Income from Vamousse, for head lice, grew 16% under the company’s ownership, while Nizoral, a Johnson & Johnson medicated shampoo, for which Alliance acquired the Asia-Pacific rights last June for £60mln, traded in line with expectations. Its integration is progressing well, investors were told.
Xonvea, for morning sickness, was launched in October, and it is now starting to gain formulary inclusions, Alliance said.
Chief executive Peter Butterfield added that 2019 had started well and hinted at further acquisitions as he told the market the group would look to deploy its strong cash flow to further develop the business.
Turning to the finances, statutory turnover was up 16% to £118.2mln for the year to December 31, while the “see-through” figure was ahead 22% at £124mln. That latter number included a financial contribution from the recently-acquired Nizoral shampoo brand. Like-for-like revenues, which strip out the impact of recent purchases, were up 4%.
Underlying earnings (EBITDA) rose 19% to £32.4mln, while free cash flow was strong at £16.1mln. At the period-end net debt was £85.5mln as leverage fell to 2.33-times from 2.46.
Alliance said it will hike the dividend 10% to 0.977p, giving a total of 1.464p. The payout is covered more than three-times by underlying earnings.
“In 2018 we continued to deliver on our strategy, with strong sales and profit growth, led by our international star brands and acquisitions. 2018 marked a milestone in the internationalisation of Alliance in that, for the first time, our overseas sales exceeded those in the UK,” said CEO Butterfield.
“The acquisition of Nizoral brings increased scale and opportunities for us in the Asia Pacific region and, together with the creation of a trading operation in the US, further increases our international footprint, whilst the UK approval of Xonvea offers further organic growth prospects for the group.”