The Investment Column: Bespak investors can breathe easy
The figures also show that he is capable of moving Bespak beyond the recovery phase to generate real growth, even if the 43 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to pounds 5.03m on turnover up just a tenth to pounds 39.4m reflected the benefits of some one-off factors.
The demise of the US patent over the ageing albuterol asthma treatment (better known as Glaxo Wellcome's Ventolin) led to the launch last January of three generic versions, all of which business Bespak won. Filling three new marketing pipelines, on top of those of existing customers Glaxo and Schering Plough, helped valve sales soar by 28 per cent to around pounds 15.4m in the half-year.
Meanwhile, sales continued to build around Glaxo's Acuhaler, the second- generation dry powder inhaler launched in Scandinavia in 1995.
Bespak's turnover in that product alone more than doubled from under pounds 2m to pounds 4.5m in the six months as the drugs giant rolled the product out across Europe.
Mr Chambre says about half the first-half profits growth came from higher volumes inflated by these developments and concedes that growth will slow from here on. Even so, Bespak can look forward to cashing in on the continuing 6 per cent growth in the US asthma inhaler market and has plenty else to look forward to.
The two-year restructuring of Tenax is nearly complete. The business should be back in profit in the second half, aided by the delayed launch of a new product. There should also be further benefits from sprucing up Bespak's manufacturing efficiency, which, with better customer service and lower costs, is said to have delivered the other half of the first- half profits rise.
Bespak's chances of picking up the manufacturing for the Acuhaler's US launch in 1998 have been improved by Glaxo's decision to raise its maximum order with the group from 10 million to 15 million units a year.
Its credibility is also enhanced by the announcement that Roger Mann, finance director at Siebe, is joining the board.
The only clouds are the switch to non-CFC propellants in inhalers, which could disrupt the market up to 2000, and the half-year collapse in profits in the relatively small personal care division. But even on a prospective p/e ratio of 18, assuming full-year profits of pounds 11m, the shares should have further to go.
- 1 What if 35 Palestinians had died, and 800 Israelis?
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Richard Norris: Man who had whole face transplant after being shot becomes GQ star
'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Analyst, ALM Data, Halifax, ...
£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/d...
£400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Liquidity Reporting - Basel III - LCR - Ba...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client Services Associate (Microsoft Office, Ana...