KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 20): Pharmaniaga Bhd, which packages and distributes Covid-19 vaccine Sinovac, is seeking approval for the vaccine to be administered to the Malaysian adolescent population.

“Recently, Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine was approved for the adolescent population, aged 12-17 years in Indonesia and China,” said Pharmaniaga in the release of its quarterly financial result.

Another six countries are evaluating adolescents’ use of Sinovac, according to the company.

“Upon approval, it will create demand for six million doses,” said Pharmaniaga.

Furthermore, the drug maker intends to export the Covid-19 vaccines to countries in Asean and Africa.

The group expects Sinovac to offer booster shots soon, and it is in discussions with the producer Sinovac Biotech Ltd to facilitate exports to several countries in South East Asia and Africa.

On its manufacturing capacity, Pharmaniaga said it has ramped up its capacity to four million doses a month since this month from two million doses previously.

The roll-out of Sinovac in the country has been a key contributor to Pharmaniaga’s earnings improvement. Its net profit expanded 37.3% in the second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (2QFY21) to RM13.7 million from RM9.98 million, as revenue rose 82.28% to RM1.18 billion, from RM645.76 million on the back of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine sale to the government.

Quarterly earnings per share stood at 1.05 sen, compared with 0.76 sen in 2QFY20, Pharmaniaga's filing showed.

The group has declared a dividend of 1.5 sen in the quarter — up from 0.5 sen in 2QFY20, bringing the half-year payout to 2.3 sen against 1.7 sen in 1HFY20.

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