India's Cipla posts 45% jump in Q4 profit on domestic drugs business boost

FILE PHOTO: Employees and security staff work at the reception area of Cipla at its headquarters in Mumbai

By Rama Venkat

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Cipla Ltd, India's third-largest drugmaker by sales, reported a 45.2% increase in fourth-quarter profit on Friday, driven by strength in its key domestic and North American drugs business.

Shares of the company, which manufactures generic versions of respiratory drugs Advair and Albuterol, were flat after the results but closed 0.7% lower in their second straight session of losses.

Cipla's consolidated net profit jumped to 5.26 billion rupees in the quarter ended March 31 from 3.62 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenue from sale of products rose 8.5% to 56.66 billion rupees. Revenue from its mainstay pharmaceutical business climbed nearly 7% to 55.36 billion rupees, while revenue from new ventures more than doubled to 2.34 billion rupees.

Cipla, which also makes anti-allergic drug Cetirizine, said revenue from its drugs business in India rose 3.5%, while revenue from its North American market surged 39%.

Cipla's profit growth had outpaced its revenue growth in the second and third quarters, helped by a smaller rise in operating expenses.

The company's EBITDA margins for the quarter expanded to 20.5% from 14.5% from a year earlier.

The Mumbai-based company expects to achieve adjusted EBITDA margin between 23%-24% in the financial year 2024, Cipla's Global Chief Executive Officer Umang Vohra said in a post-earnings call.

Cipla's peer Dr Reddy's Laboratories posted a jump in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, while Lupin Ltd swung to a profit from a loss last year.

($1 = 81.7800 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami)