By C.H. Unnikrishnan
Mumbai: Higher interest cost and a drop in domestic sales resulted in Nicholas Piramal India Ltd, India’s fourth largest drug maker in terms of sales revenue, showing a 19.4% drop in net profit during the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Down from Rs51 crore a year ago, the company posted a net profit of Rs34.39 crore.
In response to the fall in profit, its shares lost 5.6% on the National Stock Exchange to close at Rs267.15.
Nicholas’s consolidated sales rose 16.4% to Rs625.68 crore compared with Rs549.74 crore in the previous quarter.
But, a 142% hike in interest cost and a marginal rise in the staff and R&D costs in the first quarter caused a 51% drop in operating profit to Rs37.11, from Rs56.9 crore in the year-ago period.
On the domestic front, the company’s formulation sales grew 0.5% to Rs209 crore, said chairman Ajay Piramal. “This was primarily due to lower sales of Codeine-based drugs as the availability of the raw material was currently controlled by the government under the Drugs & Narcotics Act,” he said.
International sales, however, rose 36.8% to Rs204 crore. The company, which is focused on contract manufacturing for global clients, had sales revenue of Rs263 crore from this business in this period.