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Biocon's profit after tax dips 12 per cent

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Apr 20: Premier biotechnology firm Biocon Limited today announced that its profit after tax has declined 12 per cent to Rs 174 crore, despite a nine per cent increase in total income at Rs 793 crore for the fiscal ending March 31, 2006.

Announcing its results here, the company said the fourth quarter ending March 2006 showed a 20 per cent top line growth at Rs 215 crore as against Rs 178 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year. The quarter registered 13 per cent PAT growth at Rs 48 crore, compared to Rs 42 crore in the same period last year.

The operating profits declined marginally by two per cent to Rs 234 crore and the operating margins were at 30 per cent for the year, the company said.

The Board of Directors had recommended a dividend increase from 40 to 50 per cent (Rs 2.50 per share). Earnings per share for the year was put at Rs 17.40.

Commenting on the results, company Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said ''I am pleased that we have sustained a healthy 30 per cent operating margin for the financial year 2005-06 despite a fiercely competitive environment. This enables us to invest in our discovery-led research programmes. The recent acquisition of the Nobex portfolio has significantly enhanced our IP assets both in terms of patents as well as proprietary technologies, which will play a key role in our innovation strategy for the future. The year ahead is also expected to see us entering the Oncology market with our novel antibody product, BIOMAB-EGFR, for the treatment of head and neck cancers.'' She said Biocon was rapidly transforming itself from a generics API manufacturer into an innovator company developing a robust pipeline of new molecules. ''We believe that this strategy will deliver strong and sustainable growth in the future.''

Ms Mazumdar-Shaw said the year ahead would continue to be challenging due to uncertainties in market conditions and the impact of depreciation at its new facilities at Biocon Park. ''However, we expect Insulin to gain market share both in India and overseas markets. This, together with branded formulations and research services, will drive growth,'' she hoped.

The company said investment in R and D increased by 76 per cent to Rs 76 crore. Revenues from the biopharmaceuticals and enzymes business grew six per cent to Rs 688 crore from Rs 647 crore, contributing 87 per cent to operating revenues in the fiscal.

Revenues from Research Services grew 52 per cent to Rs 100 crore from Rs 66 crore, contributing 13 per cent to operating revenues.

Biocon acquired the assets of Nobex Corporation for US Dollar five million in March 2006. This strategic acquisition provided Biocon with a valuable IP platform and full ownership of the Oral Insulin and Oral BNP programs. It also provided the company access to over 300 patents related to a novel platform technology focused on oral peptide delivery in the metabolic and cardiovascular segments. Biocon proposed to leverage these proprietary assets through a combination of licensing and co-development partnerships.

Biocon entered into an MoU with the prestigious Karolinska Institute, Sweden, for partnering in product development, joint PhD studies at Karolinska, joint research programmes between the two and scientific symposia in India sponsored by Biocon in association with Karolinska Institute.

The company said Clinigene, its wholly owned subsidiary, would soon move to a state-of-the-art new 65,000 sqft facility, being set up at Electronics City here. This would enable Clinigene to expand its current operations.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had inaugurated a state-of-the-art multi-product Biologics facility on April 17.

Commercial operations in the plant would commence in the second quarter of financial year 2007. The plant would manufacture a range of products, encompassing monoclonal antibodies and other recombinant therapeutics, the company said.


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