Enaleni plant upgrade pays off

2008-09-09 00:00

Enaleni Pharmaceuticals’ R195 million upgrade of its manufacturing facility in Durban is progressing well and is scheduled for completion next month.

Enaleni’s chief financial officer, Chris Aucamp, told The Witness yesterday that the modular design of the factory has enabled the firm to manufacture certain new products.

Enaleni temporarily suspended manufacturing at the Durban-based facility in mid-2007 and began upgrading it to pharmaceutical inspection convention/co-operation scheme status with a view to attaining “GMP” approval from the Medicines Control Council (MCC).

Aucamp said the MCC conducted a final inspection of the 10 000 m2 manufacturing site in July this year, adding that a final meeting of the MCC on the matter is expected to be held today.

Enaleni is the sixth-largest pharmaceuticals company in South Africa.

The facility, which is undergoing a name change to Cipla Medpro Manufacturing (Pty) Limited, offers production and packaging of oral solid dosages, liquids, creams, ointments and effervescents.

Aucamp said products currently manufactured include tablets (Disprin), liquids (Dettol) and effervescents (Alkafizz). He added that the company has a long way to go before it reaches production capacity in any product area.

Aucamp said production will be gradually ramped up once approval has been granted, adding that full capacity may only be reached by 2010.

It is understood that production capacity for tablets is at about 15% while capacity for liquids is at about 48%.

Aucamp said about 250 people are employed at the Durban facility, and the figure is set to increase once approval has been granted. “We have retained many staff … and we have included core staff members in the upgrade process. They have been trained … and kept on throughout the period.”

Enaleni has invested in sophisticated equipment and introduced “additional resources and capabilities not previously catered for at the outset of the upgrade”.

Despite very limited production in the factory due to the upgrade, Enaleni yesterday posted a solid set of results for the six months ended June 30, 2008.

Revenue from continuing operations for the period increased by 15% to R463,4 million, while profit after tax came in at R65 million (2007: R47,3 million).

Basic and fully diluted headline earnings per share grew to 14,4 cents (2007: basic 12,6 cents and fully diluted 12,5 cents), an increase of 14% and 15% respectively.

kavith@witness.co.za

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