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Lupin Q2 Profit Lags Estimates on Fewer Drug Launches

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Lupin Q2 Profit Lags Estimates on Fewer Drug Launches
Mumbai: Lupin Ltd, India's third largest drug maker by sales, hopes to win approvals for some key products in its largest market, the United States, by the end of this year, after fewer product launches pushed second-quarter profit below estimates.

Earnings of most Indian generic drug makers, including Lupin, were hurt in recent quarters by a slowdown in the pace of approvals to launch new drugs, after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) overhauled the review process.

"We...remain upbeat on the pace of approvals and launches to pick up by the fourth quarter," Lupin managing director Nilesh Gupta said in a statement on Tuesday.

Among the drugs it expects approval for this year is its copy of the big-selling heartburn pill Nexium, for which it expects an FDA nod "anytime now", Mr Gupta said.

To offset the lag in US approvals, Indian generic drug makers have been trying to expand in the region by buying niche products, or companies with the capability to develop such products.

Lupin bought US firm GAVIS Pharmaceuticals LLC for $880 million in its largest ever acquisition in July, gaining access to portfolio of speciality generic drugs that are harder to develop and where competition is usually limited.

The company's net profit for the July-September quarter slumped 35 per cent to Rs 409 crore ($62.97 million). That was much below the Rs 568 crore analysts on average estimated, according to Thomson Reuters data.

US sales fell about 9 per cent to Rs 1,155 crore.

Lupin shares tumbled nearly 6 per cent to Rs 1,932 - their lowest in more than a month, before ending 5.2 per cent lower at Rs 1,945.65 apiece on the BSE, compared to a 0.4 fall in the Sensex.

($1 = Rs 64.9550)
© Thomson Reuters 2015


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