Ranbaxy reported Thursday a fourth-quarter loss of 29.8 billion rupees ($607 million), compared with a loss of 97.4 million rupees ($2 million) a year earlier, after taking a charge of $500 million to settle a legal dispute with U.S. authorities. Meanwhile, sales in the period rose 79 percent to 37.4 billion rupees ($761 million), helped in part by exclusive revenue in the U.S. from a generic version of Pfizer’s Lipitor.
“I am satisfied with the progress we are making in resolving the long standing issues with the U.S. regulators,” remarked CEO Arun Sawhney. The settlement and the provision set aside for the probe into compliance issues at manufacturing sites in the U.S. and India bring “greater predictability to our business in the US, one of our largest markets,” he added.
Sales in North America climbed by more than 230 percent to 19.7 billion rupees ($400 million) in the fourth quarter, boosted largely by the introduction of generic Lipitor with partner Teva. While the company declined to provide sales data on the statin, Bino Pathiparampil of IIFL Capital said sales were likely about $280 million, which is much higher than the $130 million he had estimated for the quarter. Under the terms of the partnership between the companies, Teva gets an undisclosed share of the profits from the first six months of sales of the product and IDFC Securities analyst Nitin Agarwal noted that while “the Lipitor numbers look pretty good…the payment to Teva is very high.” For the full year, sales in North America climbed 18 percent to 38.1 billion rupees ($775 million).
In addition, growth in the company’s Indian business slowed, with sales topping 4.8 billion rupees ($98 million) in the quarter and growing 7 percent for the full year to 19.5 billion rupees ($397 million). In Europe, quarterly sales held steady at 3.8 billion rupees ($77 million), while full-year sales grew 11 percent to 13.9 billion rupees ($283 million).
For the year ended December 31, the company posted a net loss of 29 billion rupees ($590 million) against a net profit of 15 billion rupees ($305 million) in 2010. Sales were up 13 percent at 99.8 billion rupees ($2 billion).
The drugmaker said it expects to achieve $2.2 billion in revenue this year, excluding any income from exclusive sales of generic drugs. “The guidance from the company is quite strong,” commented Kotak Institutional Equities analyst Priti Arora, adding that “I think the figure is pretty ambitious and may be difficult to achieve.”