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Ognian Donev: We spend more resources on science and progress

14 March 2015

Ognian Donev, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of Sopharma AD, speaking for Banker newspaper Mr Donev, your company completed 2014 with profit but both it and its sales are declining. Do you expect this tendency to continue during the coming months? - The main reason for the lack of growth last year is the crisis in two basic markets where the company has long traditions and very good positions – in Russia and in Ukraine. The unpredictability of the situation there caused discrepancy between our plans (for the year) and reality. Since it is not possible to make corrections on the production program and the contractual relationships with our partners in such short terms, the costs levels remained the same, while incomes fell drastically mostly due to the objective loss of the eastern part of Ukraine’s market. In addition, the jumps in the exchange rates on both markets resulted in accumulation of serious losses from exchange differences. Despite that, we managed to cope and keep our positions on these markets. And do you look for new markets after what happened in Russia and Ukraine? - Our strategy for expansion, mostly in the region, is long-term and we constantly work in this direction. In the pharmaceutical sector however, we cannot expect things to happen quickly. This is understandable, it is one of the most regulated sectors and each entry on a new market or registration of a new product takes at least a year. We have not stopped to look for suitable investment opportunities in neighboring countries in the form of acquisitions or partnerships, but in the current situation we’ve become more and more careful with the choice of new ventures. Do you plan investments to improve the products you offer? - The products we already manufacture are with European quality, since all our plants comply with the highest contemporary requirements. Of course, we invest, when possible, in process and technology optimization, and with the completion of the modernization of our production capacities, we now spend more resources and attention on science and progress, including on new products or new forms of already existing products. Banker newspaper