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Renata, Unilever Consumer Care’s share prices soaring

Staff Correspondent
23 Jun 2024 23:50:20 | Update: 23 Jun 2024 23:50:20
Renata, Unilever Consumer Care’s share prices soaring

Renata PLC and Unilever Consumer Care Limited share prices have gone up after a long time as investors with renewed appetite have rushed in, creating high demand for their shares.

Dhaka Stock Exchange’s latest data showed that the share price of Renata, a leading drug manufacturer in Bangladesh, went up from Tk 631.5 each on May 26 to Tk 723.5 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the share price of Unilever Consumer Care rose from Tk 2,140.1 each on May 26 to Tk 2,647.4 on Sunday, which was the highest in a year for the multinational company.

Renata recently exported its first shipment of Terbinafine tablets to the United Kingdom. With the new types of drug shipment, the export basket of Renata has increased to a total of 17 products in the UK market.

In a filing on the stock exchanges on Wednesday, Renata said it has shipped the initial consignment of Terbinafine 250 mg tablets to the UK market, known by its brand name Terbimax in Bangladesh.

The product is being supplied directly from the company's UK MHRA-approved facility in Gazipur’s Rajendrapur and will be commercialised under the livery of Renata (UK) Limited, said the disclosure.

Terbinafine, an allylamine antifungal, is widely used for the treatment of onychomycosis of the toenail or fingernail due to dermatophytes. The global terbinafine market was valued at $614 million in 2023. Renata's product is available in Bangladesh under the brand name Terbimax.

Renata, through its subsidiary Renata (UK) Limited, entered the UK market in 2018.

The company witnessed a 54.8 per cent year-on-year drop in net profit in FY2022-23, although its revenue grew by 6 per cent.

The situation, as per the company, is credited to the increase in the prices of raw materials and the rise in energy prices caused by the global dollar crisis.

The publicly traded company paid a 62.5 per cent cash dividend for FY23 to its shareholders, the lowest in the last seven years. The drug maker’s profit after tax was Tk 231 crore in FY23, down from Tk 511 crore recorded in the previous fiscal year.

The company is engaged in the business of manufacturing, marketing, and distributing medicines, nutritional products, and vaccines for humans, along with veterinary medications.

The company started its operations in 1972 as Pfizer (Bangladesh) Limited. However, in 1993, Pfizer transferred ownership of its operations to local shareholders, and the company name was changed to Renata.

Meanwhile, Unilever Consumer Care, a subsidiary of Unilever Bangladesh that manufactures Horlicks and GlucoMax D, on Sunday saw its share price rise to the highest level in a year.

The company is considered one of the fundamentally strong stocks in the country's capital market, known for its consistent profitability and generous dividends to shareholders.

In pursuit of potential returns and to strengthen its portfolio, the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) has increased its investment by acquiring more shares from the secondary market.

Over the past two months leading up to June, the state-owned non-bank financial institution, which plays a pivotal role in supporting the capital market, acquired a 4.63 per cent stake in Unilever Consumer Care.

Unilever purchased an approximate 82 per cent stake in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Bangladesh, which has been listed on the bourses since 1976, from Setfirst in June 2020 for Tk 2,020.8 crore, making it the largest transaction by a single company on the Dhaka bourse.

Under the acquisition, Unilever got ownership of GSK’s iconic health food and drinks (HFD) portfolio brands, including Horlicks, Boost and Glaxose-D.

The acquisition, though, came under the scanner of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission five months later, which raised issues about GSK Bangladesh’s name change to Unilever Consumer Care, along with other matters.

This name change, which took place on November 29, 2021, confused uninformed retail investors, who jumped to snap up shares of Unilever Consumer Care, sending its price soaring.

Horlicks, the company’s top-selling product, accounts for as much as 90 per cent of its total revenue.

Unilever Consumer Care saw its profit jump by 32 per cent in 2023, thanks to efficiency in operating expenses and a significant increase in net finance income. The listed multinational company’s net profit was approximately Tk 96.15 crore in 2023, up from Tk 73 crore in 2022.