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Nicholas in the red, Q4 loss at Rs 12.5 cr

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Our Corporate Bureau  |  Mumbai 

Nicholas Piramal India slipped into the red in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2005, with a net loss of Rs 12.48 crore against the corresponding previous quarter's net profit Rs 75 crore. Net sales, during the period, dropped by 33.3 per cent to Rs 211.5 crore.
Net profit in the financial year ended March 31, 2005 reduced by 9.8 per cent to Rs 170 crore. Net sales, during the financial year, declined by 2.9 per cent to Rs 1,230 crore.
Ajay G Piramal, chairman, held reduction in inventory in anticipation of introduction of the value added tax (VAT) and retail chemists' boycott of psychotropic and narcotic drugs responsible for the poor show in the fourth quarter of the last year.
Talking to Business Standard, he said the company lost six weeks' sales for the dual cause, amounting to Rs 120 crore in the fourth quarter."
The performance in quarter ended March, 2005 was an one time aberration. The company hopes to go back to posting good in the current quarter itself," he said.
He also mentioned that the for the quarter and year ended March 31, 2005 are not strictly comparable with the figures of the corresponding previous period.
The company's strategy on giving importance to custom manufacturing and research and development continues, he said, adding that the company earned an export turnover of Rs 160 crore in 2004-05 compared with Rs 100 crore in 2003-04.
Expenditure on R&D increased to Rs 10.98 crore in the quarter ended March, compared with the previous corresponding quarter's Rs 8.84 crore.
During the quarter, the company completed takeover of the global Inhalation Anaesthetics business of Rhodia Organique Fine Limited of UK.
Meanwhile, the company's board today decided to increase in the FII/NRI investment limit to 49 per cent of the equity share capital of the company. The proposal will be placed before the shareholders at the next annual general meeting.

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First Published: Wed, April 27 2005. 00:00 IST
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