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Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Giant Sopharma to Expand across Eastern Europe
Date: 18/04/2011
Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Giant Sopharma to Expand across Eastern Europe

Bulgaria's largest pharmaceutical producer Sopharma, which registered record profit in 2010, plans to boost its presence in key Eastern European markets.

Sopharma owner and CEO Ognyan Donev has made clear his expectations that Sopharma will expand its business operations in the Baltic states, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Serbia, and Turkey, and will be watching closely the market situation in Greece.

"My dream is to see Sopharma develop as successfully as it has in the past two years," Donev told Sopharma investors as cited by Finance5. In his words, in 2011, Sopharma plans to launch six new medical products of its own.

In 2010, Sopharma's total sales grew by 12.2%, and its profit rose by 21% compared with 2009; its total profit reached the record BGN 40.5 M. Sopharma's 2010 revenues amounted to BGN 238.5 M. 30% of Sopharma's sales in 2010 were on Bulgaria's domestic market but the major factor for its revenue growth was its export to foreign markets which grew 19% compared with 2009.

This led the company to announce a flat salary increase of BGN 60 as of April 1, 2011, for all of its 1 830 employees in Bulgaria, on top of any individual raises and bonuses.

Sopharma's 2010 gross expenditures amounted to BGN 193 M, an increase of 10% year-on-year.

Sopharma's own capital is BGN 296 M, which is a 16.6% increase in 2010 year-on-year.

In 2010, Sopharma started building an EUR 8 plant in Serbia, and a larger EUR 35 M (BGN 70 M) production facility in Bulgaria's Sofia; in addition to these projects, in 2011 the company plans to complete the modernization of its facilities in Ukraine.

In 2011 so far, Sopharma made two acquisitions of pharmacy chains in Belarus.

Last week Sopharma acquired Belorussian pharmacy chain Tabina through its Latvia-based subsidiary Briz, it said on April 13 2011 in a statement to the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

Sopharma bought 99% of Tabina's capital, which has 14 pharmacies operating under the Doctor Do brand. Tabina, with a staff of 75, registered a turnover of EUR 3.78 M in 2010.

In January 2011, Sopharma's subsidiary Briz bought another Belorussian pharmacy chain, Interfarm, which runs 19 pharmacies. The Sopharma statement made it clear Briz now has a portfolio of 33 pharmacies in Eastern Europe with an annual turnover of EUR 7.5 M, which has made it the third largest pharmacy chain in Belarus.

Topic: Business

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