Egis profit boosted by forint weakness

BUDAPEST Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:39pm EST

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BUDAPEST Feb 12 (Reuters) - Hungarian pharmaceuticals group Egis, which makes most of its sales abroad, said quarterly profit after tax rose 23.5 percent, helped by forint weakness.

Egis made a profit of 6.59 billion forints ($31 million) in the three months to December - its first quarter. Profit from financial operations rose 20 percent to 1.44 billion forints, while operating profit rose 1.6 percent to 5.61 billion.

Egis said export sales rose 22 percent to 85.7 million euros ($115 million), with the main export market, Russia, seeing turnover up 12 percent with Ukrainian sales jumping 59 percent.

Sales at home fell a fifth to 7.15 billion forints, meaning total sales rose 3.5 percent while the cost of sales increased 4.8 percent.

"The fall (in domestic sales) is in part due to a high base (in the previous year) and partly to a continuing erosion in prices," the company said.

Prices have been falling every half year because of a price and subsidy system launched by the government in October 2011, the company said. Egis cut the average price of its products by 5.2 percent on Oct. 1, 2012. ($1 = 0.7474 euro) (Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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