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Russia's Pharmstandard H1 earnings rise 83 pct

Russian drug maker Pharmstandard  said on Wednesday its net profit rose around 83 percent to 1.76 billion roubles ($71.60 million), helped by growing sales and cost control.

The company, which is Russia's largest drug maker in the commercial retail segment, said sales rose 40 percent to 6.20 billion roubles from 4.43 billion roubles in the first half of 2007.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 62 percent to 2.62 billion roubles, excluding a foreign exchange gain, and the EBITDA margin improved to 42.3 percent from 36.6 percent.

The results were helped by an increased share of higher-margin branded products in overall sales amid high consumer price inflation and continuing disposable income growth.

Pharmstandard PHST.RTS held an initial public offering in May 2007 raising $880 million through the sale of 43 percent of its equity and becoming the first firm in the sector to float.

Among 20 best selling Russian pharmaceutical products, Pharmstandard has six, including market-leading antiviral brand Arbidol, which saw sales grow 75 percent.

During the first half of 2008, the company launched eight new products which contributed 50 million roubles to its sales.

Pharmstandard, which has five plants in Russia, also develops and sells medical equipment and disposable medical products. In the first half of 2008, pharmaceutical products made up 92 percent of its sales.




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