By Lexi Elo
Based on its recent analysis of the Nigerian pharmaceutical market, Frost & Sullivan recognises Fidson Healthcare PLC (Fidson) with the 2014 Nigerian Frost & Sullivan Award for Growth Excellence Leadership.
Fidson’s definitive vision and strong management stoked a growth rate of 26 percent in 2013, cementing its leadership in the Nigerian pharmaceutical market. Fidson’s aim to enhance the quality of lives of Nigerians by providing affordable, quality pharmaceuticals has helped it evolve from a distributor for multinationals to a distributor of its own brands by 1996.
Immediately after entering the market, it focused on extensive brand and production capacity building. In 1998, it purchased a local plant to manufacture its own branded generics in 2008, and after solidifying itself in the Nigerian pharmaceutical market and demonstrating adherence to excellent quality products and a strong business model, it was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
“Investing heavily in its own local production capacity has proved a winning strategy for Fidson. In 2006, the company expanded its production facilities to manufacture liquid formulations in addition to the tablets, capsules, cream and gel, and dry powder already in production. It currently operates two factories and has leading brands in antibiotics, diabetes, hypertension, and food supplements,” Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Danielle de la Mare revealed.
Fidson is building a N7.5 billion biotech plant that will double its production capabilities by 2015 and thereby facilitate economies of scale. It will also enable Fidson to invert its manufacturing capacity and imports ratio from 40:60 to 60:40. Fidson could be one of only five shortlisted local manufacturing companies to achieve Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) compliance.
The Nigerian pharmaceutical market was estimated to be approximately US$1.19 billion in 2013, with year-on-year growth of 12 percent. Fidson’s audited report for the same period shows revenue growth of 29 percent, from N7.2bn in 2012 to N9.2bn in 2013. Fidson grew its gross profit by 26 percent, from N4.1bn in 2012 to N5.1bn to 2013, while its operating profit increased by 60 percent and operating margin by 3 percent.
In 2007, Fidson became the first company in Nigeria to manufacture its own brand of anti-retrovirals called Virex Anti-retroviral. This drug was 100 percent formulated and manufactured in Nigeria, and it successfully reduced the cost of anti-retrovirals to the public by 75 percent, compared to the offerings of multinationals. As a result, the federal government purchased the product on an ongoing procurement basis for public hospitals and clinics, boosting Fidson’s brand within the market.
“Meanwhile, Fidson has forayed into the IV infusions market, as it expects to increase its turnover by 20-25 percent in the next two to three years from this product pipeline,” observed de la Mare. “It also plans to expand geographically into West Africawithin a few years, after it further entrenches its presence in the Nigerian market, which constitutes approximately 65-70 percent of the West African market.”
Significantly, Fidson prices its products at retail value a