Drug and delivery device business Consort Medical plc almost doubled pre-tax profits to £21.9 million in the year to April 30 on revenues 6.2 per cent ahead at £294m.
Consort is based in Cambridge and its inhaler manufacturer Bespak in King’s Lynn. The stunning financial performance backed by a massive hike in dividend unsurprisingly sparked a bout of profit-taking when the markets opened today.
Looking ahead, CEO Jon Glenn (above) said group performance was expected to be broadly in line with Consort’s near-term expectations for the current financial year “despite some headwinds from contract phasing.”
He added: “Consort has again delivered further growth in revenue and profit in both divisions. Bespak has continued to make good progress with its diverse pipeline of product opportunities in this high margin business.
“Aesica continues to improve its operating performance and its margins in line with our expectations, assisted by recent contract wins.”
Consort is proposing a final dividend 5.2 per cent higher to 13.21p “reflecting the good financial performance and the board’s confidence in the group’s prospects.”
The UK quoted company has also reduced net debt to £92.6m from £97m last time with good cash generation following further investments in the business. Gearing has been reduced to 1.7x.
Consort posted a number of landmarks in the year reported and Bespak can claim a large slice of the glory. It clinched its first full development agreement for its Syrina/Vapoursoft device with a leading global biopharma company and launched a second injectable device with the UCB Cimzia AutoClicks pre-filled pen in the UK and other European markets.
The launch of AstraZeneca’s Bevespi Aerosphere in the US meant Bespak was awarded a significant new multi-year agreement for the scale-up and supply of its proprietary pMDI valves and actuators.
Glenn said Consort Medical was on course for double digit operating margins at Aesica triggered by major contract wins. A number of Big Pharma players are in talks about using its technology.