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Russia's Pharmacy 36.6 sales up 71 pct in Jan-Sept

Russian health and drugstore chain 36.6  said on Wednesday its nine-month consolidated sales rose by 70.6 percent year-on-year to $592 million.

The company also said like-for-like sales were up 28.9 percent in dollar terms from a year ago, helped by higher average receipt at its regional pharmacies.

Last week, 36.6 raised around $115 million through a rights issue aimed at funding expansion and increasing its free-float. It operated 1,090 stores at the end of the third quarter, compared with 757 stores a year ago.

It said it opened 32 pharmacies in the third quarter of 2007, rebranded 20 pharmacies and closed 16 stores.

The firm said sales in its key retail segment rose by 81.6 percent to $458.8 million, with regional pharmacies accounting for 45.3 percent of retail sales.

Veropharm (VRPH.RTS: Quote, Profile, Research), the company's generic drug making unit, generated sales of $92.9 million in the nine months of 2007, up 31.4 percent versus the same year-ago period.

The company's net debt stood at $274.3 million at the end of September. It did not provide figures for profits. In the first half of 2007, it posted a net loss of $16.9 million compared with a net profit of $49.5 million in the first half of 2006.


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