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Indian pharma industry estimated to grow 9-11% in 2021-22: ICRA

The Indian pharma industry is estimated to grow at 9-11 per cent in 2021-22 and in the next few quarters, it will be driven by domestic and emerging markets, according to ratings agency ICRA. In a sample of 21 Indian pharmaceutical companies, ICRA NSE 3.05 % said revenue growth was moderate at 6.4 per cent in the second quarter of FY22, down from 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2021-22.

The normalisation of the base and pricing pressures in the US market were the major reasons for slowing growth momentum in Q2 FY22, even as growth under domestic and emerging markets remained healthy, ICRA said in a statement.

“Revenue growth for ICRA sample set is estimated at 9-11 per cent in FY2022 and in FY2023, supported by gradual recovery post the impact of COVID-19,” ICRA Assistant Vice-President and Sector Head Mythri Macherla said.

In FY22, the sample set is estimated to have witnessed growth of 13-15 per cent in the domestic market, 14-16 per cent in the emerging markets and 9-11 per cent in the European business, she added.

Macherla said growth under the US business is expected to remain muted given the pricing pressure.

In the domestic market, ICRA said a combination of steady normalisation in hospital footfalls and field force operations, given the relatively lower restrictions on account of COVID-19, continued traction in acute therapies and better pricing supported healthy revenue growth across companies.

Going forward, the ratings agency said sustenance of trend in doctor visits and elective surgeries given the news around the Omicron variant, and performance of new launches in addition to revenue growth momentum in the acute segment will remain key monitorables.

ICRA said the emerging markets were the star performers clocking a robust 30.6 per cent year-on-year growth in Q2 FY2022.

It added that growth for the sample set was primarily led by new launches, low base, strong demand and rupee depreciation.

As for the US market, the revenue growth for the sample set remained muted at 1.9 per cent during the second quarter owing to high single-digit to low teens price erosion and past inventory liquidation given the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it added.

The outlook for the pharma sector remains stable led by healthy revenue growth and margins, ICRA said.

It added that it expects the sample set’s capital structure and coverage indicators to remain comfortable despite higher capex and R&D (research and development) expenses given the robust cash levels.

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