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28.05.2009

Veropharm Q1 net profit falls 42 pct

Russian drug maker Veropharm's profits and sales fell in the first quarter as it suspended sales to some cash-strapped distributors and as its own money troubles put some imported materials out of reach.

Veropharm said in a statement on Wednesday net profit fell 41.6 percent in dollar terms to $3.7 million. In rouble terms, earnings were down 18.3 percent at 125.4 million roubles.

Distributors are delaying payments (as they are) facing temporary problems due to liquidity shortage,' Veropharm spokeswoman Anna Kalnookaya said.

She also said Veropharm's own liquidity problems did not allow it to pay for imported input materials in advance, resulting in a shortage of finished medications.

Sales at Veropharm fell 22.5 percent year-on-year to $27 million. Gross profit declined 20.3 percent to $17.4 million, while gross margin improved to 64.7 percent from 62.9 percent.

But its margin on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 20.9 percent from 26.4 percent, as EBITDA declined 38.5 percent to $5.6 million.

At the end of March its debt stood at $24.3 million.

Veropharm, which is majority-owned by Pharmacy Chain 36.6 , has reportedly been put up for sale as the indebted drug retailer needs cash to pay debts.


Source:  www.reuters.com

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