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Dr Reddy's Labs back in the black

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Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, India’s biggest drug maker by sales, said it turned to profit in the third-quarter, helped by higher sales of an authorised generic drug in the US, even as it set aside money for foreign exchange losses.

The drug maker reported a profit of Rs 192 crore in the three months ended December 31. It had a loss of Rs 121.3 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. The company had posted heavy losses in the corresponding quarter of last year, mainly because of write-down of Rs 288.3 crore worth intangible assets of its acquired German subsidiary Betapharm and lack of any key exclusive products.

Revenue in the quarter rose 49 per cent to Rs 1840 crore helped by US sales of Sumatriptan succinate, an authorised version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Imitrex, last year. Analysts were expecting less than 40 per cent growth in sales.

The generic version of Imitrex was launched in the US on November 24 last year with six month exclusivity, based on an out of court settlement with GSK.

Its rival Ranbaxy Laboratories, the first company to challenge the patent of Imitrex, is yet to get clearance from the US drug regulators to launch its version with exclusively for six months.

"The generic of Imitrex contributed close to Rs340 crore to the sales and its US business, branded generics business in Russia and CIS countries helped the company post better than expected sales," said Sarabjit Kaur Nagra, vice-president of Angel Broking. Excluding revenues from this drug, the revenues grew 21 per cent year on year, said the company.

Dr. Reddy’s profit came, even as it set aside Rs 49.3 crore towards foreign exchange losses in the period, compared with Rs 8.9 crore gain in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Dr Reddy's said excluding revenues from the generic of Imitrex, its North America business grew 80 per cent to Rs 670 crore. This was driven by high volume growth in top products and acquisition of BASF's unit in Shreveport, which contributed Rs 40.9 crore. Revenues from the Russian market grew by 44 per cent, driven by key brands such as Omez, Nise, Ketorol and Cetrine. Russia and other CIS markets contributed Rs 200 crore to the sales. Revenues from pharmaceutical services and active ingredients (PSAI) increased by 6 per cent during the period to Rs450 crore.

Share prices of the company increased today by 2.55 per cent on BSE to close at Rs 467.9.

Krishna G Palepu resigns from DRL board

Krishna G Palepu quit on Tuesday as an independent director from Dr Reddy's Laboratories. Palepu had, last month, resigned from the board of Satyam Computer after the aborted Maytas deal.

In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, DRL said Palepu has resigned as non-executive director from its board effective from Tuesday. The board has accepted his resignation with immediate effect and appreciated his contribution to the company, it added.

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