Biocon Q1 net profit lags forecast, shares fall

Biocon Q1 net profit lags forecast, shares fall

Mumbai: Biocon Ltd, India’s top-listed biotechnology firm, reported a lower-than-expected 7.4% rise in quarterly profit on Thursday as licensing income dropped, sending its shares down 6%.

The company’s experimental oral insulin drug, IN-105, is in final stage trials and Biocon said it was in talks with several potential partners for the global development and commercialization of the drug.

It is also pursuing talks for licensing Itolizumab, used in the treatment of psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

“There has been lower licensing income recognition this quarter. This is as per plan and is expected to ramp up in the quarters ahead," Biocon’s chairwoman, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, said in a statement.

She had said in April the company hopes to find a global partner for the IN-105 drug in this fiscal year that ends next March.

Licensing income in the June quarter fell to Rs140 million ($3.1 million) from Rs210 million in the year-ago period, Shaw said in a televised news conference.

Bangalore-based Biocon said consolidated net profit rose to Rs700.5 million ($15.8 million) for its fiscal first quarter ended June from Rs652.2 million a year ago.

A Reuters poll of brokerages had expected the company to post a net profit of Rs896 million.

Biocon and Pfizer agreed last year to a deal in which Pfizer would globally sell insulin drugs made by Biocon. It expects to start supplies of its insulin and glargine products to Pfizer for their India market launch in the September quarter.

This deal does not include the IN-105 drug.

The company said it had completed the divestment of its stake in the German marketing firm Axicorp. It had earlier said the sale was part of its focus on global alliances that would include Germany and did not require the company to have a separate unit for the region.

Biocon, which was set up by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw in her garage in 1978 and which the market values at about $1.7 billion, has seen the stock fall nearly 12% this year, compared with about 9% fall in the broader market.

The stock fell as much 6% to Rs348.40 after the results announcement in a firm market.