Replacing China as a global chemical supplier is a medium to long term story- LupinMrunmayee Jogalekar
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Replacing China as a global chemical supplier is a medium to long term story- Lupin
Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Ramesh Swaminathan, Global CFO –Lupinpublished in Economic Times dated26thJune 2020:
- The US Generic market has seen different phases in terms of pricing in the last 2 decades. Pricing was good during 2001-2005. In the 2005-2009 period, there was a sharp decline in prices which picked up later. 2011-2015 saw some tailwinds for pricing. 2015 onward due to customer consolidation and increased competition in generic space, the Pharma companies lost bargaining power leading to pricing pressure. However today, the situation has stabilized and everything depends on the portfolio.
- There have been a lot of Indian generic entrants in the US generic space and that is where the competition is higher. US companies such as Teva, Mylan, and Sandoz have lost market share to the new entrants. But the smaller companies are now realizing that earning ROCE is not as easy. Companies have to invest in FDA approved manufacturing facilities of different kinds, there is a waiting period for getting ANDA approvals, and there is a working capital blockage. As a result, some players are backing out which will bring some pricing stability going forward.
- In the last several years, Lupin, along with the other bigger companies, is focusing on delivering more complex generics including complex injectables, inhalation, etc. Complex injectables as a segment are growing at over 6-7%. Inhalations segment is growing at over 15%. These segments have lower competition because of the complexity involved.
- In the specialty segment, a lot of the products are coming into the market over the next few years, which will help with the realizations for Indian generic companies. Companies need to have deep pockets because Specialty calls for a very different kind of approach. Innovation quotient and clinical data play a critical part.
- Biosimilars is the sunrise industry for Indian pharma companies. There are considerable entry barriers, but once a company has a clone, has done immunogenicity studies well and, then potentially development risk will be mitigated. The pricing will also be better due to lower competition. Europe has adapted more to biosimilars. Once the American market picks up, the realization for players in that market would be much higher.
- Lupin has got into women’s health because that is one space which has been vacated by big pharma and to that extent, the competition there is much lower.
- Replacing China as a chemical producer for the world will be a medium to long term story. India has about 25% of USFDA approved API capacities in the world but there is still some way to go when it comes to supply. The government is trying to encourage this shift but the investments have to materialize.
- There are 3 specific growth drivers for Indian pharma companies. One is the large American market, specifically the complex products which Lupin is also getting into. Second, the Indian domestic market is still underpenetrated. Due to the COVID-19 situation, there is going to be thrust from the Indian government and more public awareness which will aid faster growth. Third, many emerging markets are underpenetrated and if the portfolio is right, there is potential for growth in those markets.
- There might be some demand contraction in India as well as America due to COVID-19 disruption. However, it is a very temporary situation and the second half of FY21E will be much better.
- The flavor of the day seems to be a nationalistic foot forward. We can see in India as well as in America and other parts of the world. Lupin has been conscious about this for a while and has local manufacturing in countries where it operates. For Indian pharma companies, the basic paradigm should be low-cost manufacturing from India but supplemented with local manufacturing capabilities in overseas markets.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)
- The closing price of lupin was ₹ 910/- as of 30-June-2020. It traded at 31.9x/ 23.4x the consensus EPS estimate of ₹ 28.5/ 38.9 for FY21E/ FY22E respectively.
- Consensus target price of ₹ 852/- implies a PE multiple of 21.9x on FY22E EPS of ₹ 38.9.
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