Mumbai: Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s top drugmaker by sales, swung to a fourth-quarter loss as operating expenses rose from a year earlier.
Ranbaxy, controlled by Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo, only reported full-year results and declined to comment on what caused the loss. A Reuters calculation showed the fourth-quarter net loss at Rs 97 million ($2.15 million), compared with a profit of Rs 256 crore a year earlier.
A Reuters poll had forecast net profit of Rs 317 crore for the firm.
For the year ended 31 December, the company posted a five-fold rise in full-year net profit to Rs 1,497 crore ($330 million) up from Rs 296 crore reported a year earlier.
Global demand for generic drugs from drugmakers such as Ranbaxy and domestic rivals Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Cipla Ltd and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries , is booming as developed nations battle rising healthcare costs.
Ranbaxy said it expects to achieve base case sales of about Rs 8400 crore in 2011. Base case sales exclude revenue from the possiblility of exclusive sales they could get for being the first to bring a generic drug to market.
The firm posted global sales for the full year of Rs 8,500 crore compared with 73 billion rupees a year ago.
Last month, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories India’s No. 2 drugmaker, swung to a profit in the fiscal third quarter but missed analysts’ estimates as sales at its German unit plunged.
Ranbaxy shares, which the market values at $4.8 billion, fell 4% on Tuesday. The stock rose nearly 16% last year, underperforming the 34% rise in the sector index, but in line with the gains in the main market index