Sigma shares soar on back of firm’s good news

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

SHARES in Sigma Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Ltd rose more than 12 per cent af­ter the com­pany said it had al­most halved its full year net loss and fore­cast a re­turn to prof­itabil­ity.

The com­pany be­hind Aus­tralian phar­macy re­tail brands Am­cal, Am­cal Max and Guardian said the net loss de­clined to $ 235.38 mil­lion for the year to Jan­uary 31, from a net loss of $ 398.28 mil­lion a year ear­lier.

The re­sult fol­lows the sale of its Aspen Phar­ma­care Hold­ings unit in South Africa ear­lier this year.

The com­pany used the $ 900 mil­lion net pro­ceeds of the Aspen sale to pay down its debt bur­den, the Mel­bourne-based com­pany said yes­ter­day.

The fi­nan­cial re­sult in­cludes a full year of ac­tiv­i­ties from the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal divi­sion that was sold to Aspen Asia Pa­cific Pty Ltd on Jan­uary 31.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mar k Hooper said he was pleased the com­pany was still grow­ing af­ter the sale of Aspen Phar­ma­care.

He said he was ‘‘ some­what sur­prised’’ by the share mar­ket re­ac­tion to the fi­nan­cial re­sult.

‘‘ I wasn’t quite sure what it would do, maybe it’s just the con­fir­ma­tion of the spe­cial div­i­dend.’’

A spe­cial, fully franked div­i­dend of 15 cents a share would be paid on May 11 aris­ing from sale.

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