Fresenius lifts Kabi unit's outlook for 3rd time

FRANKFURT, Sept 5 Wed Sep 5, 2012 1:32am EDT

FRANKFURT, Sept 5 (Reuters) - German healthcare conglomerate Fresenius raised the full-year profit outlook for its generic infusion drug unit Kabi for the third time this year as it benefits from rivals' supply shortages longer than previously thought.

The division now expects organic sales growth of about 9 percent and a margin of earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) over sales of about 20.5 percent, which is the upper end of its previous target range, Fresenius said on Wednesday.

Previously, it had projected organic sales growth of 7-9 percent and an EBIT margin of 20-20.5 percent.

The company, which on Wednesday reaffirmed its outlook for the entire group, had said in August that it may again adjust the Kabi division's outlook.

Kabi's U.S. business, formerly called APP Pharmaceuticals, is winning windfall profits from rivals' production blunders, which have caused shortages in the supply of dozens of injectable generic drugs including the widely used anaesthetic propofol.

Since March, Fresenius is the only supplier of propofol in the U.S., after generic drugmaker Hospira Inc had to close down its production temporary.

Earlier this year, Fresenius had anticipated Hospira to restart propofol deliveries in August. But last month, Hospira's Chief Executive Michael Ball conceded that it may take several months longer.