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Wockhardt posts net loss of Rs 3.7 crore in Q1 FY 06

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 25 (UNI) Pharma and bio-technology major Wockhardt Limited has posted a net loss of Rs. 3.7-crore in Q1 FY 06 on account of one-time write-offs and expenses amounting to Rs.

23-crore relating to inorganic growth initiatives and inadequate provisioning of chargebacks in the US for the previous period amounting to Rs. 38-crore.

The company, however, clocked a 44 per cent increase in its operating profit at Rs. 63-crore on consolidated sales of Rs.

351-crore for the same period while operating margins improved by 380 basis points, a release issued here today said.

Mr Habil Khorakiwala, Chairman, Wockhardt Limited, said ''our operations during the quarter resulted in a 44 per cent growth in operating profits. Our core operations continued to do well. However, we took a hit on net profit during the quarter because of the one-time write-offs. This I take as a part of our US business learning curve.'' The company's Indian formulations business grew by 58 per cent while its key therapeutic areas registered impressive growths. The company's bio-technology business grew by 45 per cent, diabetology by 53 per cent and nephrology by 88 per cent, stated the release, adding that ''Wockhardt now aims to expand its Indian business by launching new products in cardiology, oncology and dermatology during this year.'' The company is also exploring in-licensing opportunities in these areas, it added.

On the international business side, Wockhardt UK launched natural insulins in Canada during the quarter after obtaining approval for them from Health Canada authorities. More new product launches are on the anvil in the UK and German markets, stated the release adding 'these will fuel European growth during the year.'' In the US, Wockhardt received the US FDA approval for ranitidine 75 milligramme, the OTC version of the anti-ulcer drug. ''Four new products have been launched during the quarter, which would power the US business, along with new product approvals expected during the year,'' the release stated.

The company's global bio-tech business also grew by over 100 per cent during the quarter with its recombinant insulin, wosulin, launched in three countries during this period. Five more product approvals were received during the quarter, taking the total approvals to over 30 while the company also received its first overseas approval for wosulin cartridges during the quarter.

Another highlight of the company's performance related to its new chemical entity WCK 771 becoming India's first anti-infective drug candidate to enter Phase II clinical trials.

The release also pointed out that Wockhardt was invited to participate in the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) held in the USA in March, where, for the first time in its 75-year history, GRC conducted a dedicated programme on anti-infectives in view of the growing concerns over rising bacterial resistance and declining research in this field.

UNI JJ ADG SKB1813

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