* Q4 loss at 4.92 billion rupees, shares fall 4 percent
* Company sees 10 percent growth in 2013 base business
* Makes provision of 1.86 billion rupees for U.S. recall
MUMBAI, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd
, India's top drugmaker by sales, said its base
business would grow a modest 10 percent in 2013 after reporting
a surprise quarterly loss on product recall charges, sending its
shares down more than 4 percent.
Controlled by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co, Ranbaxy
reported a quarterly net loss of 4.92 billion rupees ($91.30
million) after setting aside 1.86 billion rupees towards recall
costs. Analysts on average had estimated consolidated net profit
at 1.44 billion rupees on net sales of 26.96 billion rupees,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The drugmaker in November voluntarily recalled its
cholesterol lowering generic of Lipitor from the U.S. market
after it discovered contamination with tiny glass particles in
certain lots of 10mg, 20mg and 40mg doses of the drug.
"This is really bad. This raises serious questions about
transparency," said Daljeet Kohli, head of research at brokerage
IndiaNivesh. "The company has been saying that this recall was
voluntary and now it has made a huge provision for costs, which
is not a good thing for any company to do."
After the product recall, Ranbaxy's market share of generic
Lipitor fell to less than 3 percent, according to industry
estimates. The drugmaker has now resumed supplying the United
Ranbaxy launched the first generic version of Pfizer's
Lipitor in 2011 and during its first six months on the
market the company generated sales of nearly $600 million,
according to analysts estimates.
The company said it expects to achieve sales of over 120
billion rupees in the current fiscal year ending December,
compared to 124.6 billion rupees reported in 2012.
Q4 NUMBERS DISAPPOINT
Ranbaxy said consolidated sales fell 28.8 percent to 26.71
billion rupees in the fiscal fourth quarter ended December.
Sales in its key North America market fell to 8.51 billion
rupees ($157.91 million) in October-December compared to $407
million in the year earlier when the company gained from
exclusive rights to sell generic Lipitor in the United States.
Global demand for cheaper generic medicines from companies
like Ranbaxy and local rivals Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd
, Cipla Ltd and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries
Ltd is booming as developed nations battle rising
The drugmakers however, face intense competition as well as
an increase in lawsuits from rival drugmakers and a stricter
U.S. regulatory environment.
Valued at $3.2 billion, shares in Ranbaxy fell 3.95 percent
at 416.70 rupees on Tuesday when the Mumbai market was
down 1.64 percent. The shares have fallen 17.6 percent this year
compared to a 3.2 percent drop in the benchmark healthcare index