SOUTH AFRICA – According to an earnings report filed, South Africa’s Dis-Chem Pharmacies Ltd has recorded a 15.7% jump in total revenue to R30.4 billion (US$1.94B) buoyed by acquisitions of new drugstores and stronger demand for medicines as COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns ease.

The pharmaceutical retailer is a leading specialist in beauty, sport supplements and health and well-being along with offering expert advice and a wide range of products in these categories. Its Foundation provides care and support to improve the lives of individuals while relieving the burden on communities.

Dis-Chem’s acquisition of Medicare pharmacies is paying off, boosting its footprint and making the company South Africa’s largest retail pharmacy group by dispensary market share.

Dis-Chem, which runs the second-largest chain of pharmacies in South Africa and competes with Clicks Group, said it had administered 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses during the year ended February, resulting in R513 million (US$32.5M) in revenue.

Earlier, the company had administered 405,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses during the half-year ended August in 2021, with that number increasing to 860,000 by the end of October 2021.

The company’s headline earnings per share, a key metric of profit for South African companies, jumped 27.6% to 99.2 cents for the year and its recent launch of a health insurance offering has also helped the group broaden its focus,” the drug store chain said in a statement.

Dis-Chem Pharmacies Limited further stated that in the two months since launching medical insurance, uptake has exceeded the group’s initial expectations despite the consumer environment remaining constrained.

Recently, Dis-Chem and digital bank Tyme launched health insurance in South Africa to tap into a wider and under-served segment of the population due to delayed enactment of the country’s universal national health insurance known as NHI.

Dis-Chem’s product Dis-Chem Health starts at R431(US$29) a month while TymeBank’S medical insurance TymeHealth costs R139 (US$9) depending on what exactly a person gets covered.

The companies offer members non-life insurance cover for the cost of day-to-day healthcare needs, certain accidents and medical emergency illness events which is a good option for those who cannot afford medical aid membership.

Moreover, the founders of Dis-Chem, Ivan and Lyn Saltzman begun reducing their majority shareholding in the pharmaceutical retailer in 2021, selling between R5.4 billion and R5.5 billion (US$367.8 million) in shares to various investors.

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