Orion Group Interim Report 1-3/2021

ORION CORPORATION        INTERIM REPORT 1-3/2021        27 APRIL 2021 at 12:00 noon EEST

Orion Group Interim Report 1-3/2021

This is a summary of Orion’s Interim Report 1-3/2021. The complete report is attached to this stock exchange release and is available at https://www.orion.fi/en/Orion-group/investors/financial-reviews-and-presentations/

  • Net sales totalled EUR 269 million (EUR 280 million in 1–3/2020).
  • Operating profit was EUR 75 (84) million.
  • Profit before taxes was EUR 75 (83) million.
  • Equity ratio was 54% (69%).
  • ROCE before taxes was 38% (39%).
  • ROE after taxes was 35% (33%).
  • Basic earnings per share were EUR 0.42 (0.48).
  • Cash flow per share before financial items was EUR 0.19 (0.34).
  • The outlook for 2021 remains unchanged. Orion estimates that net sales in 2021 will be slightly lower than in 2020 (net sales in 2020 were EUR 1,078 million). Operating profit is estimated to be lower or clearly lower than in 2020 (operating profit in 2020 was EUR 280 million).


  1-3/21 1-3/20 Change % 1-12/20
Net sales, EUR million 268.7 279.9 -4.0% 1,078.1
EBITDA, EUR million 86.0 98.6 -12.8% 336.5
% of net sales 32.0% 35.2%   31.2%
Operating profit, EUR million 75.0 84.4 -11.1% 280.1
% of net sales 27.9% 30.1%   26.0%
Profit before taxes, EUR million 74.8 83.4 -10.3% 278.3
% of net sales 27.8% 29.8%   25.8%
Profit for the period, EUR million 59.6 67.4 -11.6% 219.9
% of net sales 22.2% 24.1%   20.4%
R&D expenses, EUR million 25.1 26.8 -6.4% 123.2
% of net sales 9.3% 9.6%   11.4%
Capital expenditure, EUR million 12.0 10.3 +16.1% 48.5
% of net sales 4.5% 3.7%   4.5%
Interest-bearing net liabilities, EUR million -214.9 -185.0 +16.2% -185.8
Basic earnings per share, EUR million 0.42 0.48 -11.6% 1.56
Cash flow per share before financial items, EUR 0.19 0.34 -43.1% 1.85
Equity ratio, % 53.8% 68.9%   66.7%
Gearing, % -34.2% -22.0%   -25.4%
ROCE (before taxes), % 38.2% 38.8%   34.8%
ROE (after taxes), % 35.0% 33.2%   29.1%
Average personnel during the period 3,328 3,304 +0.7% 3,337

President and CEO Timo Lappalainen:
Strong first quarter as exceptional circumstances continue

“In the early part of 2021, the exceptional circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are still prevailing. For Orion, this means continuing to focus on looking after the health and safety of our employees and ensuring production continuity, product availability and patient safety in ongoing clinical trials.

In January–March 2021, Orion’s net sales were EUR 269 (280) million and operating profit EUR 75 (84) million. As anticipated, they fell below the robust comparative period when the peak in demand for pharmaceuticals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic gave a boost to sales and profits. The Specialty Products unit had a good quarter even though due to the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions implemented in various countries, the prevalence of seasonal illnesses such as the common flu has been lower than normal, and there has been a decline in non-critical procedures and medical appointments. The pandemic and the consequences of related restrictions have had a negative impact also on the net sales of the Easyhaler® products. Despite generic competition, the decline in the net sales of Dexdor® was slower than expected, since the demand for intensive care sedatives remains above normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As expected, the sales of Simdax® declined from the strong comparative period due to a decrease in planned hospital visits caused by the pandemic and, in some markets, due to falling prices. The sales performance of the Parkinson’s drugs and the strong increase in Nubeqa® net sales were in line with expectations. The decrease in Animal Health net sales was attributable to the expiry of the significant Scandinavian distribution agreement last year, but this decline was, however, mitigated by the timing of partner deliveries taking place early in the year. The very strong growth in Fermion and contract manufacturing is mainly due to the timing of specific Fermion deliveries.

The decrease in operating profit is primarily due to the gross margin falling below the comparative period. The change is mostly explained by the very high sales volume induced by the COVID-19 pandemic early last year and the fact that products with above-average margins, such as Dexdor and Simdax, accounted for a considerable share of those sales. Operating expenses in the first quarter were lower than in the comparative period mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which served to slow down the decline in operating profit.

Orion’s key clinical development projects progressed as expected in the review period, even though the ongoing pandemic still causes extra work in projects. For example, patient recruitment has been launched for the ODM-208 Phase II clinical trial as well as for the joint Phase III ARANOTE clinical trial on darolutamide with Bayer.

The global pharmaceutical supply chains have functioned fairly well from Orion’s perspective throughout the pandemic, and so far we have not experienced any of the dreaded disruptions or shortages. To our current knowledge, no disruptions or shortages are expected to affect the outlook for the rest of 2021 either. However, as the pandemic drags on, broader concerns are arising with regard to the global supply and logistics chains of goods and raw materials. Any disruptions in them may have unexpected and sudden ramifications, which may be felt as a shortage of ingredients, supplies and equipment needed in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and as increases in prices.

In the review period, we have continued our systematic work to achieve Orion’s strategic growth target. Besides building future organic growth, we have allocated more resources to business development over the past few years and are continually assessing products and businesses as potential acquisition targets.”

Outlook for 2021 (provided on 9 February 2021)

Orion estimates that net sales in 2021 will be slightly lower than in 2020
(net sales in 2020 were EUR 1,078 million).

Operating profit is estimated to be lower or clearly lower than in 2020
(operating profit in 2020 was EUR 280 million).

Webcast and conference call

A webcast and a conference call for analysts, investors and media will be held on Tuesday, 27 April 2021 at 13.30 EEST. The event will be held only online and by conference call.

A link to the live webcast will be available on Orion’s website at www.orion.fi/en/investors. A recording of the event will be available on the website later the same day.

To participate the conference call, please dial:

Finland: +358 9 817 103 10
Sweden: +46 8 566 426 51
UK: +44 333 300 0804
USA: +1 631 913 1422

PIN: 23814414#

Orion calendar

Capital Markets Day Wednesday 26 May 2021
Half-Year Financial Report January-June 2021 Monday 19 July 2021
Interim Report January-September 2021 Wednesday 20 October 2021

Espoo, 27 April 2021

Board of Directors of Orion Corporation

Orion Corporation

For additional information about the report:

Jari Karlson, CFO, tel. +358 50 966 2883
Tuukka Hirvonen, Investor Relations, tel. +358 10 426 2721 or +358 50 966 2721


Orion Corporation

Orion is a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company – a builder of well-being. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company is continuously developing new drugs and treatment methods. The core therapy areas of Orion’s pharmaceutical R&D are neurological disorders, oncology and respiratory diseases for which Orion develops inhaled pulmonary medication. Orion’s net sales in 2020 amounted to EUR 1,078 million and the company had about 3,300 employees at the end of the year. Orion’s A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.


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