Ranbaxy Q3 net beats estimates on higher sales, forex gain

Ranbaxy Q3 net beats estimates on higher sales, forex gain

Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, India's top drugmaker by sales, beat estimates with a Rs 750 crore quarterly net profit on stronger demand for its generic drugs in its key North American market while foreign exchange gains ballooned.

Demand for cheaper generic medicines from Ranbaxy and its local rivals such as Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, Cipla Ltd and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is booming as developed nations battle rising healthcare costs.

Indian drugmakers, which, on average, draw half of their sales from the United States, account for about a third of applications to sell generic drugs in that country.

They, however, face intense competition, as well as an increase in lawsuits from rival drugmakers and a stricter U.S. regulatory environment.

Ranbaxy, controlled by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co, said on Thursday sales grew to Rs 2,650 crore in the fiscal third quarter ended September from Rs 2,020 crore rupees a year earlier. The company gained Rs 393 crore in forex gains.

Analysts, on average, estimated the net profit at Rs 292 crore on net sales of Rs 2,691 crore, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Ranbaxy had posted a loss of Rs 465 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Last year it launched the first copy-cat version of Lipitor, the world's top-selling drug owned by Pfizer Inc, in the United States and enjoyed exclusive marketing rights with Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc for six months that ended in May 2012.

It also launched generic Actos, a diabetes drug by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co, in August and shares marketing exclusivity with Mylan Inc in the United States.

Sales in North America jumped 60 percent to Rs 920 crore during July-September while formulations business in India grew 13 percent to Rs 583 crore, it said.

Shares in Ranbaxy, valued about $4.2 billion, closed 0.2 per cent lower at Rs 549.20 on the BSE. The stock is up nearly 35 percent this year compared with a near 20 percent rise in Mumbai market.

(Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012)