Duopharma: ESG Principles Critical For Company’s Sustainability And Communities We Serve

Duopharma Biotech Berhad has ended 2020 of revenue at RM569.90 million and a record profit before tax (“PBT”) of RM76.16 million, a year-on-year increase of 7.6 percent. Furthermore, the group opened 2021 by posting a sterling first quarter 2021 ended 31 March 2021 with profit before tax climbing to RM23.18 million, soaring more than 30 percent from the RM17.73 million posted in the preceding year corresponding period.

Duopharma Biotech Group Chairman Tan Sri Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Binti Sh Bakir commented, “As pharmaceutical companies provide essential services, we were allowed to operate during the government-imposed Movement Control Order (“MCO”) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We recognised that, to maintain our supply of products to the market, we had first and foremost to protect our people. And this was given top priority.”

The Chairman also explained, “We recognise that good governance, together with strong social citizenry and environmental stewardship – in other words, strong Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) principles – is critical not only to our sustainability but that of important communities that we serve and which also serve us.”

In addition to being listed on the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia’s index, the Group enhanced its reporting in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”): Core Option and Bursa Malaysia’s Sustainability Reporting Guide. The entire Group’s corporate integrity was further strengthened with the attainment of the ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems certification.

To counter the moderated demand for prescription drugs, Duopharma Biotech strengthened its portfolio of biotherapeutics and other critical drugs, either in partnership with leading pharmaceutical players or through its own Highly potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (“HAPI”) plant, as well as its first foray into digital therapeutics with Naluri Hidup Sdn. Bhd

Milestones include investment in US-based AZTherapies, Inc. (“AZT”), an innovator of novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“ALS”), and fortifying the Group’s Halal leadership by raising awareness that all of its manufactured products have passed stringent conventional and halal standards.

In addition, 2020 marked a turning point for its Consumer Healthcare (“CHC”) business, which became an independent subsidiary in January 2020, reflecting its differentiation from the Group’s ethical/prescription drugs. Meanwhile, the Ethical Specialty business grew 2.5% year-on-year, which helped to offset a general contraction in demand for treatments due to the pandemi

Another positive note is that supply of 53 Ethical Classic treatments to government hospitals that fall under the Approved Product Purchase List (APPL) was assured when a two-year extension was granted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) until Dec 31.

During 2020, Duopharma Biotech reviewed and maintained its seven-year corporate strategy strategic direction, outlined in 2019 with the aim of becoming a RM1 billion company with greater regional presence by 2025. This roadmap is guided by seven key priorities, namely: growth of its core business; expansion of biotherapeutics portfolio; investment in new niche areas; leveraging merger and acquisition (“M&A”) opportunities; digitalisation; strengthened international business; and focus on the halal market.

The Company made progress in all areas with the exception of M&As due to some temporary curtailment arising from global travel and other pandemic-related restrictions.

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