KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Pharmaniaga Bhd posted a net profit of RM23.14 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021, up from RM22.40 million a year earlier as it trimmed its finance costs and operating expenses by a total of RM8.25 million.

The pharmaceutical group achieved the improved earnings although its revenue fell 3.2 per cent year-on-year to RM793.50 million due to lower demand seen by its Indonesian division amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The group’s better (profit) performance was supported by reduced finance cost as a result of Bank Negara Malaysia’s lower Overnight Policy Rate (1.75 per cent versus 2.50 per cent as at March 31, 2020) coupled with reduced operating cost due to the ongoing cost containment exercise implemented throughout the group,” it said in a statement today.

Group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said amid the challenges brought about by COVID-19, which were expected to persist given new waves of cases around the world, Pharmaniaga was focused on the supply and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

“We are making good progress on this front with approval granted by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency for the fill and finish manufacturing of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine,” he said, adding that the distribution of the vaccine to the government had begun this month.

In addition, he said, the company had brought in 400,000 doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 finished product and successfully distributed them to government healthcare facilities.

“Building on this, we were honoured to be appointed to manage the logistics and distribution of AstraZeneca vaccines to government facilities, which is currently in progress,” he added.


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