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Mumbai: Yusuf Hamied-led Indian generic drug maker Cipla Ltd posted 15.3% rise in net profit at 328 crore in the December quarter compared with 284 crore a year ago. Sales grew 6.5% to 2,765 crore, driven mainly by domestic demand.

Cipla’s India market sales grew 14.2% to 1,199 crore during the quarter, up from 1,050 crore in the year-ago period. The growth was aided by therapeutic segments, including respiratory, anti-infectives, cardiac and gastro-intestinal diseases.

Cipla shares gained 4.07% to 662 on Thursday on BSE, while the benchmark Sensex lost 0.95% to close at 28,805.10 points.

“Cipla’s sales at 27.66 billion was 5.1% lower than expected due to lower tender supplies and change in business model in the US with commencement of marketing its own generic products in the US," said Hitesh Mahida, pharma stock analyst at Antique Stock Broking Ltd.

Net profit was mainly aided by higher other income and lower tax rate, Mahida said.

Cipla, which is setting up its own subsidiaries in the global markets, a shift from its traditional business model of partnering with local firms, started marketing four products, including Meloxicam, Topiramate, Valaciclovir and Doxycycline, under its own label in the US in the December quarter.

While its formulation exports declined by 6.3% year-on-year in the quarter, it should receive a fillip with the supply of active ingredients for Nexium generic formulations from next quarter onwards, Mahida wrote in a Thursday report.

Cipla is the ingredients and formulation supplier to Israeli drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, which received US approval to sell the generic version of anti-heartburn drug Nexium with a six-month market exclusivity after the expiry of AstraZeneca Plc’s patent on this drug.

Cipla has also won anti-HIV drug tenders to the tune of $189 million from South Africa government.

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