Ras Al Khaimah’s pharmaceuticals company Julphar expects to focus on overseas manufacturing, with its factory in Saudi Arabia to go into trial phase this year.
Julphar reported a drop of 7 per cent in 2016 net profit to Dh210 million, down from Dh226.6m a year earlier.
Sales fell 1 per cent to Dh1.45 billion. The company expects to manufacture 10 products at the Saudi facility in the initial phase. The factory will be launched on April 20, a Julphar spokeswoman said.
The company also owns a medicine manufacturing facility in Ethiopia and Dhaka in Bangladesh besides the plant in King Abdullah Economic City on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi facility is in collaboration with the diversified Saudi company the Cigalah Group.
This week, Julphar announced that the chief financial officer Jerome Carle will take over as acting general manager.
Ayman Sahli, the current chief executive, will leave the company on April 20.
The drug maker has its largest factory in Ras Al Khaimah.
In the Arabian Gulf countries, where the pharmaceutical market is dominated by branded medicines, runaway medical costs are persuading local governments to encourage the production of generics and locally.
The Saudi government is also increasingly encouraging foreign investment in the country’s health care as it tries to woo the private sector.
Dubai-based NMC Health acquired 140-bed As Salama Hospital in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, last year. This year it commenced long-term care operations at its 120-bed Jeddah facility.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter