Hester targets African market for poultry, animal healthcare products
Animal healthcare-focused biotechnology player, Hester Biosciences Ltd, has set its eyes on the African region, to market its products in the poultry and large animal healthcare segments.
Given the market potential and the need for animal vaccines in the African region, Hester expects export revenues from Africa to increase to about 70 per cent in the coming years from 40-45 per cent currently.
"Our focus is on the Africa region, beginning from East Africa. We want to create our own depots. We will stock material there and then sell through a semi-retail format. We have set up a depot in Tanzania and got vaccines registered recently. The first shipment will start soon," said Rajiv Gandhi, CEO & MD, Hester Biosciences Ltd. In the first nine months of the current fiscal, Hester's overall exports stood at Rs 12 crore, with Africa's share at 40-45 per cent.
"Apart from Tanzania, we are also planning to set up similar depots in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi, among others. In two years’ time, we plan to have four-five such depots," Gandhi told BusinessLine.
Hester has also chalked out a strategy for its India business, with increased focus on the large animal healthcare segment. It has created two segments of business poultry healthcare and animal healthcare.
"The growth driver in India at the moment is animal healthcare. Since our base in this segment is small, growth is faster. Secondly, the animal population in India is reasonably high and there is good potential for vaccines and health products for large animals. India is among the world's biggest cattle populated countries. But there are a few big dairy farms that are organised," said Gandhi.
But with the changing approach towards high-yielding methods for milk production, farmers and dairy producers are adopting a scientific approach towards animal care. "Vaccines for animals keep the animal fit and healthy, helping it to yield more milk," he added.
The company reported an 82 per cent jump in net profit to Rs 12 crore for the quarter ended December 2018, as against Rs 6.5 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. Net sales increased by 30 per cent to Rs 42 crore, as against Rs 32 crore last year. Gandhi said sales were almost in line with the company's forecast, while the jump in profits was attributed to operational efficiencies.
For the nine-month period, the company reported a net profit of Rs 31 crore on net sales of Rs 122 crore, as against a net profit of Rs 22 crore on net sales of Rs 98 crore in the corresponding period last year.