Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, part of the group of companies clustered around Sydney-based Washington H Soul Pattinson, has dropped its interim dividend to shareholders as it prepares to face the gathering COVID-19 pandemic storm.
Australian Pharmaceutical Industries – which owns the Priceline Pharmacy chain and is part-owned by Washington H Soul Pattinson has reported a modest rise in net after-tax profit for the year to August 31.
Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) has lifted interim dividend 7.1% to 3.75 cents a share for the six months to February 28 after reported a steady underlying after-tax profit of $26.8 million.
The company has guided to a decline in underlying net profit in the first half because of challenging industry conditions that particularly affect the retail business. An improvement is expected in the second half.
Australian Pharmaceutical has sold its 12.96% stake in Sigma Healthcare ((SIG)) for $0.60 a share. Credit Suisse calculates this represents a -$3.5m loss vs the price of the acquisition in December 2018.
Sigma Pharmaceuticals has rejected the offer from Australian Pharmaceutical Industries ((API)). The company has reiterated its view that there is potential on a stand-alone basis with identified cost savings of over -$100m.
Australian Pharma Industries ((API)) has increased its stake in Sigma to 12.95% and made a non-binding indicative acquisition proposal. API would own 63% of the combined entity and Sigma would receive 0.31 API shares and 23c cash for each share.
First half results were in line with guidance. The short-term outlook remains challenging, Credit Suisse believes, and PBS revenue is expected to be under pressure as some manufacturers choose to by-pass wholesale distributors, going direct to pharmacies.