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Antibiotice Iasi 2006 net income rose 27% ahead of state sale - extended

Antibiotice Iasi SA, the state-owned Romanian drugmaker scheduled to be sold this year, said its 2006 profit rose 27%, without elaborating.

The company reported net income of 25 million lei ($9.8 million), compared with 19.7 million a year earlier. Sales rose 19% to 198.3 million lei, it said in a statement to the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The Romanian government is preparing to sell its 53% stake in Antibiotice, the last chance companies have to enter Romania's medicine market without making a new investment. Generic-drug sales in Romania may double to almost €800 million ($1.02 billion) by 2009, according to an estimate by Nomura Code in London. Antibiotice, based in the eastern city of Iasi, makes a quarter of the world's nystatin and 10% of the world's B-12 vitamin pills, according to government information. The company has a market value of 846.1 million lei. Companies that expressed interest in Antibiotice include Actavis Group hf, an Icelandic generic-drug maker, and as many as seven drugmakers, 12 investment funds and three pharmaceutical distributors, Adrian Ciucur, an official at Romania's state-asset sales agency said in a November 1 interview. The company announced results after the Bucharest Stock Exchange had closed for the day. (Bloomberg)