Dechra picks up momentum in second half as dividend payment to rise

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​​​​VET drugs maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals reported a steep rise in annual profits and raised its dividend payment.

The group, which has operations in Skipton, said annual pre-tax profits rose 71 per cent to £21.4m for the year to June 30.

Dechra’s CEO Ian Page said that following a difficult start to the year, due to a disappointing performance in the Netherlands and continuing supply issues in the US, it saw positive momentum in the second half.

“This creates a strong platform for the start of our new financial year,” he said.

Following the divestment of its services arm last year, Dechra is now a pure veterinary pharmaceuticals business.

The firm said it reached a significant milestone in April with the approval in the US and UK of a major new horse drug, branded Osphos.

Osphos is used for the control of the clinical signs associated with navicular syndrome, which occurs in six per cent of horses and causes pain and lameness in the forelimbs. Dechra said it is demonstrating measurable clinical improvement.

Analyst Max Herrmann, at Oriel Securities, said: “Dechra delivered strong earnings in 2014 with an improving gross margin, tight cost control and a lower tax rate driving an impressive 23.9 per cent increase in adjusted earnings per share.

“While foreign exchange headwinds due to a weakening euro may impact reported growth in 2015, underlying growth should accelerate.”