Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

Aspen Pharmacare’s shares slid another 8% on Wednesday even as the group issued a statement clarifying certain aspects of its business to stem a sell-off.

This means the company has lost more than a third of its value, or nearly R100 per share, since it released results for the year ended June on September 13 and said it would sell its nutritionals business for less than the market expected.

A voluntary clarification announcement on Wednesday failed to arrest the decline, with the share closing at R173.23, the lowest it has been in more than five years. That compares to a close of R272.50 a week before.

Aspen said it expected organic revenue growth of 1%-4% in its commercial pharmaceuticals business for the 2019 financial year.

To allay concerns from some investors, it said it had no off-balance sheet funding in place and that all guarantees to financial institutions only applied to wholly owned subsidiaries.

Its guarantees to financial institutions were R73.5bn, while reported borrowings, net of cash, were R46.8bn. The discrepancy was partly because guarantees were for the maximum value of all available facilities and credit lines, and not only for the drawn-down portion.

Further, Aspen said the sale of its nutritionals business was expected to bring in net proceeds of about €644m. The funds would be used to reduce group debt, "creating greater headroom and capacity".

Last week, Aspen said revenues in its 2018 financial year rose 3% to R42.6bn and normalised headline earnings per share grew 10% to 1,605c.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za

Please sign in or register to comment.