Mumbai: Drugmaker Cipla Ltd on Tuesday reported a 17.7% year-on-year increase in consolidated net profit to Rs434.95 crore in the September quarter, beating market expectations. The company attributed the jump to higher sales and cost control measures. Net sales grew 8.6% on year to Rs3,988.24 crore in the quarter, led by growth in India and Africa.

A Bloomberg poll of 19 analysts estimated the company’s consolidated net profit at Rs422.20 crore for the September quarter while a poll of 24 brokerages pegged net sales at Rs4,014.80 crore.

“Cipla recorded strong growth momentum across key markets. Our US growth is getting a major boost with initiation of much-awaited product approvals. The domestic business witnessed significant ramp-up in-line with strong off-take. Our efforts to improve cost efficiency continue to yield benefits," Umang Vohra, global chief executive officer and managing director, said in a statement.

The company’s operating margin improved to 19.7% in the September quarter from 18.1% in the same period a year ago.

Sales in the domestic market, which accounts for 40% of Cipla’s total revenue, rose 12% to Rs1,646 crore, while sales in Africa increased 5% to Rs921 crore.

Cipla is trying to increase its footprint in the US market. During April-September, the company filed eight abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and expects to file a total of 20-25 ANDAs in the current financial year. It currently has 71 generic drug applications pending with the US FDA for approval.

The company’s sales in North America were down 7% at Rs618 crore in the September quarter. Sales in emerging markets rose 11% to Rs454 crore.

Shares of Cipla ended down 7.2% at Rs608.35 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex index closed down 1.1% at 33,370.76 points.

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