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May 09, 2012, 03.44 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Ranbaxy Q1 profit jumps on generic Lipitor

Ranbaxy Laboratories, India's top drugmaker by sales, reported a four-fold rise in quarterly net profit, helped by sales of its generic version of cholesterol drug Lipitor in its key US market, sending its shares up more than 4.5%.

Ranbaxy Q1 profit jumps on generic Lipitor

Ranbaxy Laboratories , India's top drugmaker by sales, reported a four-fold rise in quarterly net profit, helped by sales of its generic version of cholesterol drug Lipitor in its key US market, sending its shares up more than 4.5%.

The drugmaker, majority owned by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co, said net profit rose to Rs 1,247 crore in January-March from Rs 304 crore a year earlier. It earned Rs 345 crore in foreign exchange gains.

Analysts expected net profit of Rs 870 crore, according to Thomson Reuters.

Sales in the north American market more than doubled to Rs 2,093 crore in the period, the first full quarter of sales of its copycat version of blockbuster Lipitor.

Ranbaxy launched the generic in December 2011 in the United States followed by European markets.

Other than the innovator Pfizer, Ranbaxy and Watson Pharmaceuticals are the only two drugmakers allowed to sell generic Lipitor in the United States until May 31.

Efforts to improve effectiveness and efficiency are expected to further improve the company's base business in coming quarters, Chief Executive Arun Sawhney said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Ranbaxy settled a long-running compliance related dispute with the US Food and Drug Administration and agreed to appoint an external auditor to inspect its manufacturing units for quality checks.

It started shipping products from one of its Indian manufacturing units to the United States i n April, ending a 2009 ban by the US authorities.

Shares of the company were 4% higher at Rs 512.20 at 3:19 p.m. (0949 GMT) in a Mumbai market that was down 0.5%.

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