Ranbaxy expects strong growth in 2008, eyes acquisitions

Ranbaxy expects strong growth in 2008, eyes acquisitions

Mumbai: India’s largest drug maker by sales, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, expects strong growth in 2008 and would continue to look for acquisitions in India and abroad, chief executive Malvinder Singh said on Thursday.

“We expect a strong 2008 after a good 2007. We are aiming for 20% revenue growth," Singh told the Reuters India Investment Summit in Mumbai.

Ranbaxy has a long-stated aim to be among the top five generic players with $5 billion (Rs19,750 crore) in annual sales by 2012, but Singh said it had goals beyond sales targets.

“I’m not only looking at a focus on the topline of $5 billion, but what we are doing internally... is clearly focusing on a much higher profitability as we move forward," he said.

Ranbaxy, valued at $3.7 billion, has been eyeing acquisitions to penetrate new markets and acquire additional skills. It announced eight deals last year, including the $324 million purchase of Romania’s Terapia. This year its merger and acquisition drive has slowed. Singh said the company had backed out of the race for acquisitions such as Merck KGaA’s generic unit as it was overpriced. Singh said the India’s fragmented pharmaceuticals market needed consolidation, and Ranbaxy saw a role for itself in the process. “If something comes up in India, I’ll be the first one to go get it.

Himangshu Watts and Bharghavi Nagaraju contributed to this story.