Alliance Pharma claims it has prescription for growth after recent audit and leadership headaches

June 25, 2024

International healthcare group Alliance Pharma has said new product development and increased marketing will lead to growth in the medium term as it seeks to draw a line under a troubled period.

Shares in the Chippenham-headquartered the firm, which owns a portfolio of products ranging from anti-dandruff shampoo to stomach ulcer treatments, have fallen by around 30% over the past 12 months on the back of leadership changes and delays in publishing its 2023 full-year financial results. 

Now the firm has posted those results to the London Stock Exchange – after three audit delays – which it says show it achieved a strong second-half performance, delivering record sales for the year and further underlying profit expansion.

It added: “With continued investment planned to support new product development and increased marketing, the group is well positioned for growth over the medium term.

Statutory annual revenue climbed by 8% to £180.7m, on which it achieved underlying pre-tax growth of 3% to £31.5m.

Alliance, which employs around 285 people across Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region, has transformed itself over the past five years from a business focused on prescription medicines to a fast-growth consumer healthcare company. 

Among its top-selling brands are scar prevention and treatment Kelo-Cote, eye care product MacuShield, Amberen, a relief for menopause symptoms it acquired in 2020, and Nizoral, an anti-dandruff medical shampoo brand it bought in 2018.

It said its from latest US acquisition, scar repair gel ScarAway, had delivered a strong performance, exceeding original expectations with £9.9m revenue, up 20% on like-for-like basis.

Meanwhile, moving Nizoral manufacturing from Belgium to Thailand had driven cost savings, improved on time in full order delivery and reduced carbon emissions.

Last month shares in Alliance slumped to a 12-year low after its chief executive Peter Butterfield spooked investors by announcing he was to step down from the business on 30 June.   

He will be replaced as CEO by Nick Sedgwick, who has around 30 years’ consumer health experience across European, US and global roles at major multinational companies including Reckitt, Coty and Nestlé.

Alliance chair Camillo Pane said: “Further to the announcement that Peter Butterfield will be leaving Alliance, I am looking forward to working with our new CEO Nick Sedgwick and, together with the wider management team, I am focused on ensuring we deliver shareholder value.”

Alliance chief financial officer Andrew Franklin added: "Whilst the audit delay has been unsatisfactory, it has allowed us to implement a more robust intangible valuation review process. 

“Despite the non-cash impairments our portfolio continues to provide a solid platform from which to grow our consumer healthcare brands and generate strong cashflow.”

The firm last year increased marketing investment, launching award-winning advertising campaigns for Kelo-Cote and MacuShield to accelerate organic sales growth while also bringing new products to market, he said.

“Our revenues through ecommerce are building strongly as we strengthen our network of specialist partners and internal capabilities and enter new geographies.

"We remain confident in our medium to long-term performance as we focus our resources on those market segments in which we already have a strong presence and expertise in order to drive solid organic revenue growth above that of the broader consumer healthcare market."


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