Drugmaker Piramal Pharma has seen a drop in profits for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2023, at ₹50 crore, compared with ₹204 crore in the same period last year.

However, the quarter saw a return to profits, and this saw its share price surge, ending Thursday at ₹78.50, up 6 per cent, on the BSE.

Nandini Piramal, Chairperson of the company, said, “Over the recent years, Q4 has always been the strongest quarter for the company in terms of revenue contribution and EBITDA margin. This year as well, we have seen a healthy pickup in our Q4 revenues and EBITDA margin compared to previous three quarters of the financial year.”

However, she added, “Our CDMO (contract development and manufacturing organization) business, which had a challenging year, witnessed significant pickup in order bookings in Q4. Our inhalation anesthesia portfolio continues to see a healthy demand and hence we are expanding our capacities. Our India consumer healthcare business is delivering good growth driven by our power brands.”

The company has had a good track record with US regulatory inspections, she said. “We continue to maintain our quality track record with successful US FDA inspections – zero observations at Riverview and Digwal facilities, and EIR (establishment inspection report) received for Lexington and Sellersville facilities. We believe in the potential of our businesses and our main focus over the next few months will be on capturing demand and executing them well, driving productivity through operational excellence and executing critical maintenance and growth capex.”

Updating on the company’s proposed rights issue, top management told analysts that it was being reviewed by the markets regulator and awaiting approval.

The company’s revenue from operation grew 2 per cent at ₹2,164 crore, in the fourth quarter under review and 8 per cent at ₹7,082 crore, for the 12 months ended March 31, 2023. EBITDA margin for Q4 and FY23 was 17 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, impacted by lower sales and higher operating expenses, the company said.

Giving details on the business segments, the company said its CDMO business witnessed a significant pickup in order bookings in Q4 compared to the previous three quarters. “The orders received during Q4 was a healthy mix of on-patent and generic product development and manufacturing,” the company said. Good demand was also witnessed in CDMO services for niche areas of high potent API, peptide and anti-body drug conjugate.

Its capacity expansions have gone live at Riverview (US), peptide facility (Turbhe, India) and Ahmedabad PDS, witnessing healthy customer demand. In the second half for this year, the expansion at its Grangemouth facility was also expected to go live, the company said, adding that it would strengthen their position in the anti-body drug conjugate segment.

It’s Complex Hospital Generics (CHG) segment comprising the inhalation anesthesia portfolio saw a strong demand in the US and non-US markets. In the injectable pain management segment, growth in FY23 was impacted by supply constraints at the CMO. It’s India consumer healthcare segment saw 26 new products and 37 new SKUs launched in FY23. New products launched since April 2020 contributed to 18 percent of total ICH sales in FY23, the company said. It’s power brands including Littles, Lacto Calamine, Polycrol, Tetmosol and I-range, grew by 37 per cent, annually.