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Hungary Richter turns optimistic on Russia, CIS, US

Gedeon Richter, Hungary's leading pharmaceutical company, will not change its target for domestic sales in 2007 and still expects a 20% year-on-year decline (in forint), Chief Executive Officer Erik Bogsch told a press conference on Tuesday.

The impacts of consolidation will slowly but surely be felt in its numbers. The significance of subsidiaries will grow continuously despite the fact that these units are primarily there to build markets.

While earlier Richter expected a drop in Russian sal! es (in USD), it has turned more optimistic and now projects stagnation, which, Bogsch said, would not be easy due to the size of DLO sales in the base period.

In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Bogsch projects 5-10% increase (in USD) against the earlier projected stagnation. Richter has not modified its sales target of 10% yr/yr for the European Union.

While management earlier expected flat sales in the US, it now forecasts 5-10% yr/yr rise.

The research and development budget is set to be left intact this year, with Richter targeting R&D costs at 11% of revenues. The company expects a major drop in domestic marketing costs this year, which constitute the bulk of a HUF 2 bn cost saving programme.
Richter sees the 12% tax stripping it of HUF 1! .2 bn this year, while fees payable on agents are to amount t! o HUF 700 m.


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