Business giant Beximco has made the utmost of the silver linings of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After the novel coronavirus struck the country, Beximco Group came up with a number of time-befitting ideas of business in personal protective gear, medicine and vaccines against Covid-19.
Meanwhile, two companies belonging to the conglomerate – Beximco Limited and Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd – are the most-talked issues to stock investors.
Investors' attraction to the shares of the companies increased after Beximco Limited posted 78% growth in revenue in the first half of the current fiscal year, and Beximco Pharma imported the first consignment of 50 lakh doses of vaccine against Covid-19 from the Serum Institute of India.
Following this, the companies have secured the top positions in the turnover chart of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). They have jointly contributed 30.47% to the premier bourse's total turnover.
Beximco Limited's share price rose by 0.22% to Tk89.10 while Beximco Pharma witnessed a price correction and its share price came down by 3.98% to Tk200.10.
Salman F Rahman, vice-chairman of the Beximco Group, said, on Beximco Ltd's financial performance, "Sales, profit and earnings per share would have been even higher had the company been able to execute all its export orders. It was unable to do so due to capacity constraints – especially for the production of personal protective equipment [PPE]."
"However, a major expansion in PPE production facilities is ongoing. Profit margins are substantially more in PPE than the traditional garments Bangladesh exports and therefore, Beximco aims to become a key player in the global PPE market, which should result in a significant increase in sales and profit in the immediate future," he added.
About three crore doses of the vaccine have been secured, which Serum would deliver over a period of six months – 50 lakh a month. The doses would be given to 1.5 crore people – 9% of the population, according to sources.
Beximco Pharmaceutical Limited Managing Director Nazmul Hasan Papon said the company will get $1 per dose as commission from the Bangladesh government by bringing in the vaccines to the country.
As per the 2019-2020 annual report of Beximco Limited, the company has invested more than Tk200 crore in setting up completely vertical manufacturing facilities for manufacturing PPE gowns and masks.
It has already exported PPE to the United States (US) and Europe, which was produced in its existing manufacturing facility.
Meanwhile, Beximco Pharma is a leading player in Bangladesh with over 8.5% share of the country's Tk23,000 crore pharma market. The company over the years has emerged as a dominant exporter with its footprint in more than 50 countries across all continents – including the US and Europe.
Additionally, the company has signed a deal with multinational pharma giant Sanofi to acquire its Bangladesh part at a cost of Tk411 crore by 21 October this year.
Earlier, in April 2018, Beximco Pharma acquired majority shareholdings of 85.22% worth Tk212.51 crore in Nuvista Pharma Limited. The company also launched five new gastrointestinal and hormonal products from its subsidiary Nuvista Pharma.
Beximco Pharma also produced Bemsivir, the world's first generic version of Remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19.
Nazmul Hasan Papon said in the annual report of 2019-2020 that the company also signed a distribution agreement with Mylan (Viatris), a multinational entity, for certain biosimilar products in Bangladesh.
"Our key focus will remain on launching a range of biosimilar products that have good potential on the market. Under the Mylan deal, Beximco Pharma has the exclusive rights to launch Mylan's portfolio of key monoclonal antibodies to treat: different types of cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and other medical conditions," he added.
"Implementation of our new Oral Solid Dosage [OSD] expansion project- Unit-III was affected during the lockdown imposed by the government. We hope our new facility will be operational by the middle of 2021," he said.