Dabur Pharma posts loss in Q4 on non-oncology unit sale

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New Delhi, May 30 (UNI) Leading cancer drugmaker Dabur Pharma today reported a quarterly net loss, compared with a year-ago profit, losing revenue from the sale of its non-oncology business at the beginning of the year, and on an appreciating rupee.

Dabur, controlled by German healthcare group Fresenius, sold its non-oncology drug business in April to Alembic Ltd. The non-oncology business contributed Rs 13.03 crore of revenue during Q4FY07.

''Dabur's net losses stood at Rs 87.35 lakh during Q4 FY08, compared with a profit of Rs 2.73 crore a year ago during the same period a year ago,'' company CEO Ajay Kumar Vij told reporters here.

Net sales fell to Rs 43.9 crore During the fourth quarter ended Mar 2008 from Rs 55.95 crore, he added.

As Dabur earns 70 per cent of its revenue from the US and Europe, the rupee appreciation has affected the company's sales.

Dabur's profit during FY08 soared to Rs 98.6 crore from Rs 19.7 crore during the last fiscal. Its revenue, however, dipped to Rs 278.25 crore during FY08 from Rs 326.74 crore during FY07.

It almost doubled its research and development spending in the quarter.

''We had slightly higher R&D expense during the quarter and also some of the expenses which were incurred on launch of products in US hit us in this quarter. It is one-time event,'' Mr Vij said.

Dabur sees ''healthy sales growth'' in 2008-09 as it expands sales in the US and Europe by using the network of Fresenius, which acquired a majority stake in the firm in April.

''Our topline would grow very healthy as the US and European markets are opening up and post-closure of deal, we will have also available to us massive front-end structure of Fresenius,'' he said adding that Fresenius would help in gaining deeper penetration into those markets, particularly European, more quickly.

Dabur also sees profitability improving as its new plant at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh gets commercialised leading to tax gains.

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