SOPHARMA TO DISTRIBUTE BGN0.27 PER SHARE IN DIVIDEND
At their general meeting on May 30 the shareholders of Sopharma voted for the distribution of a gross dividend of BGN0.27/apiece (BGN0.25/apiece net dividend). The remaining part of the profit, amounting to BGN9,566,690, as well as the undistributed profit from previous years, amounting to BGN158,689 will go to the additional reserves item. June 9, 2006 is the last date for closing deals in Sopharma stocks on the exchange that will bring the right to a dividend. According to latest data, Sofia AD holds 25.51% of Sopharma's capital, Telco AD has a 24.23% stake, and Telecomplect AD owns 21.92 per cent. The remaining part of the pharmaceutical company's capital is in the hands of Sofstroy AD and Gramercy Emerging Markets Fund, with 8.33% and 7.58% stakes, respectively.
According to the company's report for the first quarter of 2006, its consolidated net profit dropped by 28% to BGN8.619MN, down from BGN11.953 for the same period of last year. Its net proceeds from sales registered a BGN3,000 decrease to BGN29.53MN, and its financial proceeds declined to BGN580MN, down from BGN1.8MN a year ago. Most expenses for the company's operation remained unchanged with the exception of costs for external services which rose by almost BGN2MN to BGN4.3MN. Sopharma's share capital is BGN66MN and its equity capital is BGN186.34MN.
On May 31 the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) allowed the concentration of economic activity, to be realized after the company acquires independent control on Sopharma Trading AD (formerly called Sanita Trading AD). Having analysed the situation, the CPC established that although distributors of medicines participated in the economic group of Sopharma AD, the horizontal operation overlap of the two enterprises could be regarded as insignificant. The commission decided as well that neither of the companies had a dominant position on the respective market at present.
CPC's conclusion is that the planned deal would not result in a dominant position. In addition, the Bulgarian competition watchdog takes into consideration the fact that the acqusition of Sanita AD by an enterprise with considerable experience and financial opportunities could contribute to the improvement of its competitiveness and influence the market positively. The forthcoming concentration would also bring about the optimization of deliveries of Sopharma's medicines on the retail market.