Green Cross dips into red with 2019 net loss

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Green Cross dips into red with 2019 net loss

Green Cross turned red last year, posting a net loss amid depressed sales of prescription drugs and increased research and sales management costs.

The Korean pharmaceutical company recorded a net loss of 11.3 billion won ($9.6 million) last year, a reversal of its 34.3 billion won net profit a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing submitted Wednesday.

Green Cross’s operating profit fell 19.7 percent on-year to 40.3 billion won, even though its sales for the year gained 2.6 percent to 1.37 trillion won.

In the fourth quarter alone, Green Cross posted a net loss of 24.6 billion won and an operating loss of 17.3 billion won, despite sales revenue rising 2 percent from the same period a year earlier to 353.6 billion won.

The company’s domestic sales for 2019 rose 3 percent on-year due to the strong performance of its blood products, vaccines and consumer health care items - the three main profit machines for Green Cross.

Vaccine sales rose 15 percent on-year, while the consumer health care division’s sales increased by 23 percent. The company’s flu vaccine sales jumped 33.5 percent on-year due to boosts in both domestic and overseas sales.

Yet Green Cross experienced sluggish exports of its products and sales of its prescribed drugs due to deferred exports of its chicken pox vaccine and supply stoppages of other products.

The company also pointed to lowered credibility ratings, while research and development and sales management costs rose12.3 percent on-year.

While its three affiliates also saw their sales increase, two of them increased their investments into research and development initiatives, which helped push the company’s overall operating profit down.

A Green Cross spokesperson said the company will continue its investment efforts into research and development and management cuts.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]

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