JOHANNESBURG - Pharmaceutical company Adcock Ingram said on Wednesday turnover increased 10.2 percent to R6.54 billion while headline earnings per share from continuing operations jumped 26 percent in the year ended June 30.

Gross profit improved by 14 percent to R2.566 billion, trading profit rose 20 percent to R866 million and Adcock Ingram declared a final dividend of 86 cents per share, bringing total dividend distribution for the year to 172 cents a share, up 24 percent from the previous year.

"The Board is very pleased with the excellent earnings growth achieved by the Group in the past financial year, considering the price-regulated environment in which it operates and difficult economic environment in South Africa," the company said.

"The results were achieved through continued investment in well established brands, improved factory efficiencies, and relentless focus on customer service and product quality."

Adcock Ingram noted the recent publication of a National Health Insurance Bill, Medical Schemes Amendment Bill and a health market inquiry report in South Africa, and said it was "supportive of initiatives that broaden access to healthcare in South Africa and do not threaten the sustainability of the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry".

It said the recent decline in the value of the rand currency was of concern and against this background cost-control would be a focus in the year ahead.

"The Board expects trading conditions to remain difficult with constrained consumer spend and high levels of unemployment, but is confident in the equity and resilience of the broad portfolio of brands in the Group," the company added.

- African News Agency (ANA)