Cipla Ltd, India's fourth-largest drugmaker by sales, reported a 20 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating analysts' estimates, as higher sales in Europe and South Africa offset weakness in its key domestic market.
Revenue from South Africa, Cipla's third largest market, rose 21 percent to 4.88 billion rupees ($76.03 million) compared with last year while Europe revenues climbed 33 percent to 1.58 billion rupees.
India revenues fell 13 percent to 12.71 billion rupees, impacted by a nationwide tax reform. Cipla's Chief Executive Umang Vohra said on Friday the company is working on building its India business through new drugs for diabetes and chronic diseases.
It's also working on improving its presence in North America, a market where copycat drugmakers' growth has been hit due to pressure on drug prices. Cipla's North America sales fell 2 percent in the quarter, but Vohra said the company was "on target to ramp-up our launch trajectory in the U.S."
First-quarter net profit rose to 4.08 billion rupees from 3.39 billion a year earlier, the company said. (http://bit.ly/2wA46UW)
Analysts were on average expecting a profit of 3 billion rupees in the first quarter, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Cipla's shares were down 2.4 percent after the results as of 0850 GMT in a broader Indian market that was 1.3 percent lower.
($1 = 64.1850 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)