24 Nov 2016

AFT H1 loss in line with expectations

1:22 pm on 24 November 2016

The drug maker, AFT Pharmaceuticals, has reported an increased first half loss in line with expectations as it spent more on research and development and marketing.

pills, medicine

Photo: 123RF

The company, which listed on the stock exchange last December, had a net loss of $11 million for the six months ended September - nearly double last year's loss.

The operating loss was, as forecast, $8.4m compared with $3.5m.

Revenue was steady at about $30m, but research costs were 78 percent higher and marketing costs up by a third.

The company had supply problems with its mainstay product, the Maxigesic painkiller, which dented sales in its two biggest markets - New Zealand and Australia. It said a contraction in the number of chemist shops in New Zealand has also affected sales

The drug is sold in six countries and is being launched in another eight.

AFT managing director Hartley Atkinson said earnings growth will be driven by expansion into big overseas markets.

"We see in these larger markets sales end up many multiples of what we see in New Zealand and that's a key point, we do need to access these larger markets and sales do very well."

He said sales were growing well in Italy, Britain and the Middle East, while AFT is currently getting the necessary official approvals to launch in the United States.

AFT is developing different versions of Maxigesic, including as an oral liquid and intravenous solution. The company is also developing a nebuliser for nasal and sinus complaints.