Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar), one of the region’s biggest drug manufacturers, swung to a net profit in the first quarter of 2022 as sales more than doubled following a “strategic turnaround plan”.

Net profit for the quarter reached 1.9 million dirhams ($517,000), compared to a loss of 29.2 million dirhams in the same period last year, while net sales jumped 156 percent to 418.6 million dirhams.

The growth was driven by an increase in sales attributed to the acquisition of Planet Pharmacies, increased focus on Julphar’s core markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, improved market access and expansion of product portfolio.

“The improved profitability is the result of Julphar’s successful implementation of its two-year strategic turnaround plan, divesting from non-core and loss-making activities and delivering efficiency improvements in its manufacturing operations,” the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

EBITDA from continuing operations jumped from 0.2 million dirhams to 40 million dirhams over the same period.

Gross profit margin also rose by 41 percent, compared to 28 percent in the previous year, while cash flow from operations amounted to 10.2 million dirhams, compared to -3 million dirhams in the previous year.