AFT Pharmaceuticals expects sales to hit analyst forecast of $70 million

By Paul McBeth

AFT Pharmaceuticals managing director Hartley Atkinson with wife Maree Atkinson. AFT Pharmaceuticals expects annual sales to meet analysts' forecasts of about $70 million.
AFT Pharmaceuticals managing director Hartley Atkinson with wife Maree Atkinson. AFT Pharmaceuticals expects annual sales to meet analysts' forecasts of about $70 million.

AFT Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures the Maxigesic painkiller, expects annual sales to meet analysts' forecasts of about $70 million and has adjusted its loan covenant with shareholder Capital Royalty Group.

The Auckland-based drug maker projects annual sales will rise 9.4 per cent in the year ending March 31 and has adjusted the revenue covenant on its CRG loan to meet a sales target of $67.5m, it said in a statement. AFT had set up a US$30m six-year facility with CRG in 2014, which required a minimum bank balance of $4m and with a 2017 revenue target of $73.5m.

Last November CRG granted AFT the right to lower the revenue targets, which it exercised today for the 2017 year. The 2018 target for sales of $84m is allowed to be reduced to $74.5m and the 2019 target of $96m can be cut to $85m.

AFT hadn't anticipated using the option, saying it would "monitor progress through the second half of this financial year and take a conservative approach to exercising this option prior to year-end," in its first-half report.

The company owed CRG $22m as at September 30.

Separately, AFT said it had been told the US Food and Drug Administration will accept the filing of its new application for Maxigesic tablets. The company will get a US$2.4m fee waiver because FDA rules allow small entities with fewer than 500 staff to get their first filing for free.

"Our development and regulatory teams have geared up for this important next step in getting Maxigesic into the US market," chief executive Hartley Atkinson said. "Negotiations on licensing agreements for certain Maxigesic products have started for both the US and Mexico."

AFT also finalised its termination and settlement for its supply of Metoprolol, a beta-blocker to treat heart problems and high blood pressure, to New Zealand's Pharmac drug funding agency. The drug maker will pay $900,000 to Pharmac in the 2018 financial year. AFT won the Metoprolol contract as the sole supplier in 2015, however, a shortage of the drug led to supply issues and Pharmac has since put the contract back out to tender.

The company's shares last traded at $2.70, unchanged over the past 12 months.

- BusinessDesk

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