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Net rises 45% on forex gains
October, 23rd 2009

Higher sales, forex gains and successful integration of its US acquisition with itself have helped Piramal Healthcare post a 45% rise in the quarterly profit. The Mumbai-based drugmaker has posted net profit of Rs 106 crore in the September quarter from Rs 73 crore in a year-ago period, while net sales went up by 12% to Rs 1,000 crore.

The companys chairman Ajay Piramal said the domestic business grew 16.2% in the September quarter year-on-year. The company now commands a 4.1% market share, higher than 3.7% last year. Its global critical care business grew to Rs 89 crore in the second quarter, against Rs 30 crore in the year-ago period due to integration of Minrad, which it bought in 2008 for $40 million.

The investments that we have made in the past few years are now paying off. We have ramped up capacity at Minrad and continuously adding clients, but in the global market the situation is still challenging, said Mr Piramal.

Piramal Healthcares contract manufacturing business (CRAMS) was almost flat at Rs 270 crore, and is expected to remain flat for the rest of the financial year. However, this business will grow next year, said Mr Piramal. We closed down our Huddersfield facility in the UK, and are in the process of shifting the manufacturing plant to India.

The company has witnessed a 40% growth in the over-the-counter (OTC) segment. This follows shift of a handful products such as Saridon and Lacto Calamine from the prescription segment to the OTC segment.

It has launched 18 products in the first half of this financial year, and plans to launch a total of 26 by the end of the year. These will be mainly in the anti-infectives, anti-diabetic, respiratory, cardiovascular and dermatology segments.

The company has also managed to bring down its debt-equity ratio to 0.9. Piramal Healthcare shares slipped 4.5% to close at Rs 366.05 in a falling Mumbai market on Thursday.

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