Pharmacy2U increases pre-tax profits ‘dramatically’
Online dispenser Pharmacy2U increased its before-tax profits to £2.9m in the year to March 31 2022, its latest accounts reveal.
Published yesterday (January 4), Pharmacy2U’s Companies House report for the 2021-22 financial year reveals that this figure grew “dramatically” from £100,000 in the previous year – the first in which it made a before-tax profit after posting losses in every year since it launched in 1999.
The report provides a figure of £3.2m for “profit and total comprehensive income” after taxes of £274,000 are accounted for (2020-21: £2.17m), and says profitability “improved dramatically” in the year to March.
Revenue grew by 18 per cent to £165m, while the number of prescription items despatched grew by 16.5 per cent to 14.8 million. Additional income streams included Covid vaccinations (the report says “over 1,500,000 vaccines have been administered”), an online doctor service and the sale of health and wellbeing products through Chemist Direct, which merged with Pharmacy2U in 2016.
As of March 31 last year, the company had net assets of £23.4m, up from £20.3m the year before.
The report says that in 2021-22 the company “made significant improvements in operational efficiency” and leveraged the scale afforded by its increased dispensing capacity and growing patient base to “improve gross margin” – which rose to 33.4 per cent from a figure of 28.4 per cent in the previous year.
The company’s main automated dispensing facility, which launched in Leicester in late 2020, has “dramatically reduced operating costs,” while the number of NHS patient nominations grew by nine per cent to 666,000.
This is partly due to “unprecedented growth” in demand for the company’s repeat dispensing service during the coronavirus pandemic, says the report, which also claims that growth has been “due to focus on providing an excellent customer experience” and “high customer service levels”.
The report notes the company’s continued investment in “multiple marketing channels” to recruit new patients and indicates that its marketing spend may have been over £6m in 2021-22.
It adds: “A number of strategic partnerships have been agreed in the last year which, in combination with existing marketing expertise, will allow the company to recruit patients faster and more efficiently.”
“The group is well positioned to deliver further growth… and is striving to gain a much higher share of the NHS repeat prescription” through its marketing, says the report, adding that the launch of a second dispensing facility in late 2021 will help give it “operational capacity for c.10% of the repeat prescription market in England”.
“As the volume of prescriptions dispensed in the new more automated facility increases this will transform the operating costs of the group.”
The report also claims that Pharmacy2U is “well positioned to play a significant role in the development and provision of pharmacy services” such as vaccinations.