UK arm of OTC supplier, Omega Pharma, posts 28% increase in like-for-like sales

Lister: top three OTC supplier goal

Lister: top three OTC supplier goal

The UK arm of global healthcare company, Omega Pharma, has announced a 28% increase in its like-for-like sales for the last year as it unveils its ambitious plans to become one of the top three OTC suppliers in the UK by 2016.

The OTC specialist, now under the leadership of Proctor & Gamble’s former head of pharmacy channel, Neil Lister, said it has seen exceptional sales growth over the last 12 months, which has further secured its position as a top five OTC supplier in the UK.

The financial growth announced includes a 10% sales increase of its longstanding brands TCP, Abidec and Metatone. The company said it has also benefited from an increased market share within the insect repellent category where Jungle Formula saw a 62% growth and in hayfever, in which Prevalin allergy outgrew the category fivefold.

Omega Pharma said it has also seen success with the launch of several new product innovations. These include XLS Medica,l which has since achieved the position of number one weight loss aid in the UK, Jungle Formula Outdoor and Camping designed specifically for the UK holidaymaker and Dermalex Repair, a cortisone free treatment for eczema.

Although not included in the like for like annual results, Omega Pharma’s acquisition of 10 household brands from GSK such as Nytol, Solpadeine, Beconase and Zantac represent a sales value of £34.8m, doubling the size of Omega Pharma and fundamental to the company’s ambitious growth plans year-on-year.

Lister said: “2012 was a great period of change and evolution for the company and it’s fantastic to see that our efforts are paying dividends so quickly. We invested considerably across every area within the business, from expanding our product portfolio through acquisition and innovation to bolstering our marketing activity to ensure that we not only maintained a strong position within the UK OTC category, but also build upon it so we can achieve our vision for 2016.”

As a result of its rapid growth, Omega Pharma has doubled its workforce in 2012 and plans to increase this by a further 25% in 2013. It also transformed its supply chain and sales function bringing all aspects of the business in-house, something which Lister believes was a radical move for the sector, but necessary for the company’s success:

“We made the decision to take our sales operation in-house because we recognised the importance for us to move closer to the pharmacist. This move went against the industry trend as many healthcare companies continue to outsource their sales teams and operations. 

However, by working directly with pharmacists and understanding their needs, we are able to deliver innovative solutions and that will help them grow their business and support their role in the community. Omega Pharma was created by pharmacists, so although it may not be the current trend amongst the competition, they’ve always been at the heart of everything we do.”

The 2013/14 fiscal will see Omega Pharma fully integrate the acquired GSK brands into its portfolio. In addition, the business said it will be increasing its overall marketing spend by 100%, an investment which will support sales growth to match the 2012 performance. This combined with 27% of gross margin improvement achieved in 2012 ensures that Omega Pharma will be able to invest more into growing its brands and to achieving its 2016 vision, the company claims.