Square Pharma says factory fire will wipe Tk 80m off profits

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Square Pharmaceuticals has said the fire at its factory in Gazipur’s Kaliakoir will burn through the company’s revenues by Tk 500 million and profits by Tk 80 million.
The fire that devastated the Large Volume Parenteral Plant on Monday will hamper the production of 50 products, Square said in a Dhaka Stock Exchange filing on Wednesday.

In 2020-21, the company’s revenues were Tk 58.35 billion and profits Tk 15.95 billion.

It said a team comprised of the experts from the company, firefighting units, and surveyors of insurance companies is working to figure out the damage, reports bdnews24.com. 

The plant is fully insured under the coverage of the Industrial All Risk Insurance Policy, according to the filing. It will take two to three years to restore the damaged facility to its full capacity and resume production there.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence said 19 fire engines brought the blaze under control following a seven-hour effort.

Dinomoni Sharma, a deputy director at the Fire Service headquarters, alleged the factory did not have adequate fire safety system.

According to him, any industrial unit is supposed to have one extinguisher for every 550 sq ft space. “They [Square officials] know very well how many such equipment they had in that 70,000 sq ft factory.”

However, Md Faridul Islam, a human resource executive of the factory, claimed the pharmaceutical factory does not need as many fire extinguishers as a garment factory needs.
"Because the manpower and the environment of a pharmaceutical factory are different from those of a garment factory. Fire service officials may have mixed up the environment and management of both types of factories,” Faridul said.

Citing locals, Lt Col Md Rezaul Karim, an acting director at the Fire Service, said renovation and welding work might have sparked the fire.

Rezaul said the fire burnt materials and chemicals for making saline and tablets. “It was a large building with a very narrow entrance from all sides. We [fire service units] had to break the steel and glass partitions to go inside and were very quick to put out the fire.”

With a market capital of nearly Tk 187.13 billion and Tk 8.86 billion paid-up capital, Square Pharmaceuticals has around Tk 80 billion in its reserves.