Animal healthcare player Hester Biosciences Ltd said it has received regulatory approval for a Bio-Safety Level-III (BSL-3) facility that was proposed to be used for human vaccine development and production. “We have received the regulatory approval of the BSL-3 facility during the quarter,” it said.

Commenting on the Covid vaccine demand going down, the company said the BSL-3 facility is functional and it is “considering the repurposing of the facility to manufacture human or veterinary vaccines. The final decision would be taken in consultation and with approval from BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India,” it said Wednesday.

Hester, in consortium with Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), Government of Gujarat (GoG), has an agreement with Bharat Biotech to manufacture the Drug Substance for Covaxin under the Mission Covid Suraksha Scheme of Government of India.

On the financials, the company posted standalone net profit of ₹6.2 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, up 26 per cent from ₹4.9 crore recorded in the corresponding quarter last year.

Standalone revenues from operations stood at ₹61 crore (₹50 crore).

For the financial year 2022-23, the company’s standalone net profit stood at ₹32 crore (₹39 crore). Revenues stood at ₹254 crore (₹219 crore)r.

Consolidated net

On consolidated basis, the company recorded net profit of ₹5.7 crore , down 37 per cent from ₹9 crore in the same quarter last year. Consolidated revenues from operations were at ₹67 crore (₹75 crore). For the full year 2022-23, company posted consolidated net profit of ₹28 crore, down 28 per cent against ₹39 crore last year. Consolidated revenues stood at ₹266 crore .

The board of directors of the company on Wednesday recommended dividend of ₹8 per equity share of ₹10 each (@80 per cent) for the financial year 2022-23.

Poultry, petcare

Poultry segment recorded annual revenues of ₹141 crore, down 18 per cent from ₹172 crore last year. The animal healthcare division recorded 81 per cent jump at ₹114 crore, up from ₹63 crore in the previous year. The pet care division recorded revenues of ₹1.8 crore for the year. “The poultry industry continues to be under pressure due to high feed costs and low product realisations leading to significantly lower new bird placements and poor collection cycles. Nonetheless, considering that we have been able to recover in Q4 compared to the yearly degrowth, we hope to see a positive trend from Q1FY24,” the company said.

On the petcare division, which was launched during the year, the company said it is gaining traction. “Until date, since inception of this division 9 months ago, 10 products have been launched in 15 sales territories. The market response has been very encouraging and this division is set to grow in geometric progression,” it added.

On Wednesday, Hester Biosciences shares ended at ₹1729.25 apiece, down 5.58 per cent from the previous close on the BSE .