Categories Concall Highlights, Earnings, Health Care

Neuland Laboratories Limited Q3 FY23 Earnings Conference Call Insights

Key highlights from Neuland Laboratories Limited (NEULANDLAB) Q3 FY23 Earnings Concall

Management Update:

  • [00:05:35] NEULANDLAB said its raw material prices are becoming more stable and there has been significant revenue growth from both specialty and commercial products in the CMS business.
  • [00:07:19] NEULANDLAB’s Unit III operations have ramped up and the company is investing in production blocks and R&D infrastructure to meet customer requirements.
  • [00:08:15] NEULANDLAB expects revenues and margins to continue to increase over the long-term.

Q&A Highlights:

  • [00:18:39] Rajat asked what is making the company’s GM higher than other API players in the Indian listed space and if it’s sustainable. Saharsh Davuluri MD said the company’s GM are a reflection of its product mix. The raw material prices have softened, and the company believes that the current level of margin is sustainable barring any major shifts in supply or FX fluctuations.
  • [00:21:38] Rajat also asked how much backward integrated is NEULANDLAB at the moment and what percentage of RM is imported from China. Saharsh Davuluri MD answered that the company does not have an overarching strategy for backward-integration, but instead evaluates each product individually. Roughly 25% of NEULAND’s procurement is from China, though their dependence on China is far less than that.
  • [00:23:23] Ankush Mahajan from Axis Securities queried how does the company see the current low exports and prices of APIs, and the outlook on price realizations. Saharsh Davuluri MD said the company has changed its supply chain from China to other suppliers to reduce risk and volatility in prices for raw materials.
  • [00:24:06] Ankush Mahajan from Axis Securities also asked about the capacity utilization of new plants and utilization in 4Q23. Saharsh Davuluri MD said capacity utilization for Unit I and Unit II tends to range between 80-85%, while it is around 65% for Unit III. This number will likely change as the industry grows and more capacity is added.
  • [00:25:29] Ankush Mahajan from Axis Securities queried about the commercialization of CMS business in coming quarters. Saharsh Davuluri MD clarified that CMS molecules have been becoming commercialized over the last few quarters and there is potential for a couple more molecules to become commercialized in the next 1-2 years. However, there is always a risk of the drug not getting approved or being successful, so caution is needed.
  • [00:27:36] Ankush Mahajan from Axis Securities asked about the growth numbers for CMS business going forward. Saharsh Davuluri MD replied that the company cannot give any guidance, but it can confidently say that the numbers seen are sustainable.
  • [00:31:45] Nikhil of SIMPL also asked that on the CMS side, a large commercial launch was seen in 3Q, with revenues reaching INR75 crores and if it’s sustainable. Saharsh Davuluri MD answered that it is sustainable, as there are different scenarios for launching a product that can be tailored to the individual case.
  • [00:33:53] Sanjaya Satapathy from Ampersand queried about the drivers of specialty business contribution declining in 3Q. Saharsh Davuluri MD said the Specialty segment has experienced significant growth in both percentage and margins, but there is likely to be some lumpiness due to the nature of the molecules.
  • [00:37:06] Sanjaya Satapathy from Ampersand also asked about Unit III utilization currently and for the next couple of years. Saharsh Davuluri MD answered that the utilization in FY23 is an estimate of around 62-65%. Moving forward to FY24, with product mix change, it will be closer to 68-69%.
  • [00:38:03] Gautam at Orion Capital asked about the US FDA approval update in Unit III. Saharsh Davuluri MD answered that the company has shipped products from Unit III to the US and have had virtual audits by the FDA. The site is in the FDA database as an inspected site for the US model.
  • [00:40:45] Keshav Kumar from RakSan Investors enquired that given a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13, is NEULANDLAB anticipating any near-term impacts due to inflation and cost of debt. Abhijit Majumdar CFO said that the company has reduced debt in the current quarter, indicating the resiliency of its business. Working capital has remained unchanged as NEULANDLAB prepares for Q4. Overall, the company is not facing the same challenges as other companies.
  • [00:44:25] Sachin Jain asked about the sustainable ROE the company is building. Abhijit Majumdar CFO answered that the company is aiming for an ROC in the range of 17-20% and is the number NEULANDLAB wants to sustain at.
  • [00:45:38] Sachin Jain asked about the scalability of CMS business for the next 3-5 years. Saharsh Davuluri MD answered that the pipeline for creating new molecules has been significantly better in recent years and already commercialization of these molecules is seen. NEULANDLAB expects to see revenue growth and profitability from the CMS business over the next 3-5 years, and this complements nicely with the GDS business.
  • [00:48:13] Kunal from Carnelian Asset enquired about the capex plans for FY24. Saharsh Davuluri MD replied that NEULANDLAB have been spending around INR100 crores on capabilities in its plants and this trend is likely to continue.
  • [00:53:49] Sajal Kapoor asked if the current R&D infrastructure, in terms of size and capability, and scientific talent mix, is good enough for the next 2 years. Saharsh Davuluri MD said the company currently has around 360-370 scientists, and plans to increase resources for R&D in FY24. Decisions on expanding R&D will be based on what is evaluated in the next 6 months.

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