Dechra charts strong growth with new drug approvals and global expansion

U.K.-based Dechra Pharmaceuticals has spent much of the last year rolling out a global expansion plan that's largely focused on increasing its presence in North America, while also gaining a foothold in the growing market for drugs to treat food animals. On Feb. 22, the company announced that results in the first half of its fiscal 2016 indicate it is well on its way to meeting those goals.

Dechra reported that revenues in the first half grew nearly 15% on a constant-currency basis to £110.7 million ($155.9 million). Its reported operating profit was up 24.5% to £15.9 million ($22.4 million).

"All our business units are performing well, we are in the process of launching several new products, our international expansion plans are progressing as expected and we have made two strategic acquisitions," said Ian Page, chief executive officer of Dechra, in a press release announcing the results.

The biggest of those acquisitions was Dechra's move last August to buy a controlling share of Croatia-based Genera for $56.4 million. Genera markets a line of poultry vaccines to prevent respiratory illnesses. Dechra closed the deal in October, and the addition boosted growth in the company's European pharmaceuticals operation by 11%, according to the earnings release.

In January, Dechra expanded into Mexico by buying the family-owned business Laboratorios Brovel SA de CV, a manufacturer of veterinary drugs, in a deal worth up to $6 million. Dechra has also opened operations in Canada, Poland, and most recently, Austria.

The Canadian operation is helping Dechra build steam in North America. During the first half, the company's North American revenue skyrocketed nearly 52% at constant exchange rates to £24.5 million ($34.5 million). The company credited the results largely to strong support for Osphos, a drug to treat navicular syndrome in horses that was approved in the U.S. last year. Dechra also recorded strong demand for its dermatology line, DermaPet, and for Vetoryl, a drug to treat the endocrine disorder Cushing's disease in dogs.

Dechra hopes to build on its momentum in North America with another drug it has developed in the endocrinology realm, Zycortal for the treatment of Addison's disease in dogs. The drug was approved in the European Union in September and is awaiting approval in the U.S., Dechra said.

- here's the earnings release