Gedeon Richter profit rises 10% on sales to former Soviet Union

In Hungary

Gedeon Richter Nyrt, a Hungarian generic-drug maker, said Q3 profit rose 10.1% on sales to Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Net income climbed to Ft 12.1 billion (€47.2 million), or Ft 649 a share, from Ft 11 billion, or Ft 589, a year earlier, the Budapest-based company said in a stock exchange statement yesterday. The company had been expected to earn Ft 11.4 billion, according to the median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg news. Richter increased exports to compensate for drug-subsidy cuts and new taxes in Hungary.

Investors sold Richter shares last month after the government revealed health-care policy proposals that may drag its 2007 pretax profit down by Ft 8.2 billion, or 14% of the forecast total, according to an estimate by Barbara Jánosi at KBC Securities in Budapest. “Generics are not very much favored with the drug economy law changes,” Jánosi said. It's unclear whether lawmakers will modify the drug bill to lessen the burden on generic-drug companies, whose low-cost copies of brand-name medicines help Hungary's state-monopoly health insurer save money. (Bloomberg)

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