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Russia's Pharmstandard H1 2007 net profit up 49 pct

Russian drug maker Pharmstandard said on Tuesday first-half net profit rose 49 percent, helped mainly by strong sales of antiviral medications and cost control.

Pharmstandard, the largest Russian pharmaceuticals company operating in the domestic market, said earnings rose to 962 million roubles ($37.96 million).

Net profit attributable to shareholders increased 70 percent to 947 million roubles.

"Pharmstandard posted strong results in the first half of 2007, in line with management expectations," said Chief Executive Officer Igor Krylov.

"Market share continued to expand, and we entered the top 3 among pharma companies in Russia," he said.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 67 percent to 1.69 billion roubles. The EBITDA margin came in at 38 percent, compared with 35 percent a year ago.

The company also said revenue rose 52 percent to 4.43 billion roubles on strong organic growth and the consolidation of the Russian pharmaceutical company Masterlek it acquired in August 2006.

Revenue from pharmaceutical products was 3.78 billion roubles, accounting for 85 percent of the company's sales.

The company, which has five plants in Russia, also develops and sells medical equipment and disposable medical products.

In May, Pharmstandard sold around 43 percent of its equity in an initial public offering and raised $880 million, becoming the first from the sector to float.


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