Eco Animal Health doubles pretax profit as it expands into North America

London-based Eco Animal Health ($EAH), which has been making strides in the U.S. animal pharma market, said it doubled its pretax profit in the second half of the year and declared an interim dividend.

In its 6-month earnings report for the second half of the year, the maker of Aivlosin said its pretax profit was £2 million ($3.1 million), up from £1 million ($1.5 million) last year. Revenues for the period rose 11% to £17 million ($26.6 million) compared to £15.3 million ($23.9 million) for the same period a year ago. The company also declared an interim dividend of 1.75 pence per share, payable April 7, 2015.

Global sales of Aivlosin, an antibiotic used to treat swine and poultry, grew 14% for the 6-month period that ended in September, the company said in a press release. In the U.S. and Canada, which accounts for more than one-third of the company's worldwide market and has been a focus of Eco's growth, sales of the antibiotic continued to build.

Eco Chairman Peter Lawrence

"These results demonstrate the global acceptance of our veterinary pharmaceutical products in general and of Aivlosin … in particular," Peter Lawrence, chairman of Eco, said in a statement.

In October, the company announced the acquisition through its joint venture partner Pharmgate of Nebraska-based Pennfield Animal Health. The deal, which concluded recently, was designed to expand the company's sales force as well offer a wider range of its products as it looks to increase its market share in North America. Financial terms of the Pennfield acquisition weren't disclosed.

Eco gained new marketing authorizations for Aivlosin in late 2013 and early 2014, which include approvals for use for turkeys in the EU and for pigs in South Korea. Further new authorizations will also allow the company to broaden the antibiotic's indications in Russia and Canada.

The company also has Asian operations in China, Japan and India, as well as in Latin America.

- see the release