Twice a week, Nairametrics spotlights some of the not-so-popular companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Some of these companies, an example of which is Pharma Deko Plc, have existed for decades; producing and marketing products and services that are consumed daily by millions of Nigerians. But despite the undeniable popularity of their products, the companies are often overshadowed by the more popular, news-making firms on the Nigerian bourse.

The need to avail the Nigerian investing public of the opportunity to keep abreast with all the companies whose stocks are traded on the floor of the NSE can never be underestimated. It is for this reason that we bring you an overview of Pharma Deko Plc. Get to know more about them.

About Pharma Deko Plc

Incorporated in 1962, Pharma Deko Plc has, for the past five decades, produced, packaged and marketed pharmaceutical products across Nigeria and beyond. The company operates in three segmented areas— Pharma, Consumer, and Contract. As such, its products range from over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to “ethical products”.

Some of the popular brands for which Pharma Deko is known are:

  •         Parkalin cough syrups (Parkalin Chesty, Parkalin Pediatrician, etc.)
  •         Revitone Blood Tonic
  •         Amoquin antimalarial tablets
  •         Revitone Blood Tonic
  •         Antasil tablets
  •         sans cream soda
  •         Omepraz
  •         Hexedene mouthwash
  •         Bien Flavoured Drink, etc

Pharma Deko claims that it controls about 50% market share in a pharmaceutical industry which is currently dominated by big names such as GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria Consumer Plc and Fidson Healthcare Plc. The company also boasts as the country’s market leader in the non-sugar based carbonated soft drink market, where it controls about 70% market share. It is reputed for being the first company to introduce locally-canned drinks in the Nigerian market.

Pharma Deco’s top executives

Mr. Folarin R.A Williams is Pharma Deko’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is a trained Chemical Engineer, as well as a practising lawyer, with many years of professional experience. Williams is also an avid investor with stakes in different sectors including ICT and of course, pharmaceuticals.

There is also Mr Adekunle Abibu, the company’s Managing Director. He is an experienced manager who, prior to joining the company in 2008, had worked in various top management capacities at some of West Africa’s biggest companies. He graduated in 1989 from the University of Ibadan with a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering.

The company is hundred percent owned by Nigerians with its Chairman, Mr F.R.A Williams owning the majority shares. Williams has a total holding of 72, 587, 440, which represents a percentage of 33.48.

Pharma Deko’s target market

Pharma Deko’s target market cuts across all of Nigeria’s demographics. As a pharmaceutical company with many product ranges, it has products for different types of ailments. Some of these drugs are easily assessed over the counter, while others would need to be prescribed by qualified medical professionals.

That said, the company’s target market can be broadly categorised into two— regular Nigerians who buy OTC drugs/other healthcare products, as well as pharmacy stores and hospitals who prescribe regulated medications. This is a huge market with quite a number of players as stated in the next paragraph.

Standard chartered

How is Pharma Deko faring against its competitors?

As noted above, there are quite a number of major players in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry, some of which are listed on the NSE while others are not. Examples include May & Baker Nigeria Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria Plc, Neimeth Plc, Fidson Healthcare Plc, etc.

Pharma Deko Plc claims on their website, that its OTC segment controls 50% market share, thereby leaving the others with just 50%. The company also claims to enjoy 70% share in the non-sugar based carbonated drink market where it currently operates. These are big claims which needed confirmation. And to do that, we compared the company’s financial year statement for 2017 with those of GSK, Neimeth, Fidson and May & Baker. Below is what we found out.

Pharma Deko recorded a 45% increase in its turnover for 2017; revenue had grown from about ₦1 billion in 2016 to about ₦1.5 billion in 2017. Unfortunately, it recorded a 105% loss, with its profit after tax (PAT) having decreased from ₦218.7 million in 2016 to ₦12.6 million in 2017.

GlaxoSmithKline’s revenue increased from ₦14.3 billion in 2016 to ₦16 billion in 2017, even as profit after tax fell drastically from ₦2.3 billion in 2016 to ₦486 million in 2017. In all, GSK performed better than Pharma Deko in 2017.

May & Baker Plc also recorded a better financial performance than Pharma Deko in 2017. Its revenue grew from ₦8.47 billion in 2016 to ₦9.35 billion in 2017. In the same vein, its profit grew to  ₦370.8 million, up from ₦41 million recorded in 2016. Once again, this is a better performance compared to Pharma Deko.

In 2017, Fidson’s revenue grew to ₦14 billion, up from ₦7.6 billion recorded in 2016. Similarly, the company’s profit after tax increased from ₦316 million in 2016 to ₦1 billion.

Lastly, Neimeth’s 2017 financial year report shows a 23% decrease in revenue. The 2017 revenue stood at about ₦1.5 billion, a decrease from the ₦2 billion that was recorded in 2016. Profit after tax, however, grew by 732%, standing at ₦411 million as against ₦65 million recorded in 2016.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that all of the other four companies made more revenues/profits than Pharma Deko Plc in 2017. This makes it rather interesting that the company would claim to be the market leader even though available facts cannot support said claim.

Struggles to remain profitable in the midst of competition

Unfortunately, Pharma Deko Plc has struggled to remain profitable over the past five years. Its annual revenues from 2017 back to 2013 have also remained below the ₦2 billion mark, even as profits continuously fluctuated, albeit below half a billion naira.

The company’s consumer goods segment has made losses in the past two years. It incurred a loss of ₦190 million in 2016 and ₦80.7 million in 2017.

Pharma Deko’s shares are trading at ₦2.20 during today’s NSE trading session.


  1. For a company like forte oil, will the present restructuring make all its profits attributable to its share holders? I ask because not all its profits are attributable to share holders i.e from 2017 full year results.


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