SEOUL, April, 28 (Yonhap) — Samsung Biologics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group, said Tuesday its net income skyrocketed 66.4 percent on-year in the first quarter on the back of increased sales.

The company’s net profit reached 61 billion won (US$54.8 million) during the Jan.-April period, compared with a net income of 39.1 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Operating income reached 74.3 billion won during the cited period, compared with an operating income of 62.6 billion a year earlier, the company said. Sales also jumped 25.9 percent on-year to 260.8 billion won.

The bio giant attributed its sound business performance to utilization improvement at its three plants in Songdo, west of Incheon, which eventually led to increased sales.

A fourth plant is currently under construction following major deals to manufacture products for major global pharmaceutical giants.

With the fourth plant’s completion, Samsung Biologics will secure a combined bioreactor capacity of 620,000 liters, making it the largest contract manufacturing (CMO) facility at a single location in the world.

Samsung Biologics said it will not only focus on CMO business but also diversify its business portfolio to meet growing demand amid the pandemic.

Shares in Samsung Biologics fell 1.98 percent to close at 791,000 won on the Seoul bourse. The earnings results were released after the market closed.