Hungary's Richter Q4 net profit rises 53 pct

Thu Feb 7, 2013 1:57am EST

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* Q4 net profit HUF 13.7 bln, above expectations

* Revenues fall 6.7 pct as forint gains vs a yr ago

* Financial ops, special items, lower admin costs boost profit

BUDAPEST, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Hungarian drug maker Richter reported a 53 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, recovering from a loss its financial operations posted a year earlier and also benefiting from declines in administrative and other operating costs.

Quarterly net profit came in at 13.7 billion forints ($63 million), exceeding an analysts' forecast for 11.6 billion forints in a recent survey by financial news website portfolio.hu.

But revenues were below expectations, falling by 6.7 percent as a stronger forint reduced the value of income from exports, which account for the bulk of Richter's turnover.

Its financial operations returned to profit, booking income of 349 million forints, compared with a loss of 3.4 billion forints a year ago while administrative and other operating costs more than halved to 4.7 billion forints.

Richter's operating profit margin came in at 15.4 percent last year, in line with the company's guidance but down from 19.8 percent a year earlier due to higher sales, marketing and research and development costs.

Sales and marketing costs rose as it expands its sales network in Western Europe, while research and development spending more than doubled partly due to a new antipsychotic drug developed with Forest Laboratories Inc.

For the full year, Richter reported net profit of 50.8 billion forints, 3 percent higher than a year ago on revenues of 326.7 billion forints, which rose by 6.1 percent.

Richter shares finished trade 0.4 percent lower at 37,350 forints on the Budapest Stock Exchange on Wednesday, underperforming the blue chip index, which dropped 0.1 percent. ($1 = 216.67 Hungarian forints) (Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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