LONDON, Sept 11 Takeda Pharmaceutical,
Japan's top drugmaker, aims to outgrow rivals in the Russian
market with the help of a local manufacturing facility,
construction of which has just been completed at a cost of 75
million euros ($96 million).
"It anchors us firmly as one of the leading pharmaceutical
companies in Russia," Frank Morich, responsible for all Takeda
sales outside Japan, told Reuters.
Takeda put a big bet on emerging markets when it bought
Swiss-based Nycomed for some $13 billion last year and the
company is now the seventh largest drugmaker in Russia by sales.
"We want to defend this position and, if possible, extend it
- and for this we need to be a serious player with a local
production base," Morich said.
IMS Health expects the Russian drugs market to grow by 11
percent annually between 2012 and 2016, while Takeda plans to
outstrip that with annual growth of 15 percent over the same
Russia, along with Brazil, is Takeda's most important
emerging market, although the group is also ramping up
investment in other developing markets, including China.
Emerging markets already account for 13 percent of Takeda's
sales, up from 3 percent before the Nycomed takeover.
Most multinational drugmakers have embarked on a similar
push into emerging markets, raising some concerns among
investors that profit margins could fall as the industry sells
cheaper products in lower-income countries.
Morich, however, said he was confident that margins in these
fast-expanding markets would grow.
"The margin in emerging markets is already pretty high in
certain countries and in other cases we are working hard to make
it go up," he said.
Across the group, Takeda is targeting an increase in EBITDA
(earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation)
margins from around 30 percent currently to the mid-30s to 40
"We can't do that without a significant margin contribution
from emerging markets," Morich said.
($1 = 0.7812 euros)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler)