Pharmacy Chain 36.6 losses deepen on customers draw

MOSCOW Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:41am EST

MOSCOW Dec 21 (Reuters) - Russian group Pharmacy Chain 36.6 reported deepening losses in January-September as economic worries pushed consumers away from its premium drug stores towards budget rivals.

The group has been closing poorly performing stores and temporarily shutting other outlets to reopen them as discount stores, hitting sales and profitability, already hampered by sector-wide price regulations.

The net loss widened 18 percent to 650 million roubles ($21.18 million) during the nine-month period, Pharmacy Chain 36.6 said in a statement on Friday.

Its retail unit incurred a net loss of 171 million roubles comparing to a profit of 40 million roubles a year ago.

Net profit at its drug producing unit Veropharm fell 19 percent to 938 million roubles.

($1 = 30.6842 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Natalia Ishchenko; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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