UPDATE 1-Brazil's Hypermarcas sees steady end to 'erratic' 2013

Mon Nov 4, 2013 9:03am EST

SAO PAULO Nov 4 (Reuters) - Hypermarcas SA, Brazil's biggest maker of generic drugs and hygiene products, expects sales growth to stabilize at the end of a bumpy 2013, its chief executive officer said on Monday.

Despite sharp swings in midyear demand, net revenue in the first nine months of 2013 increased about 10 percent from a year earlier, and CEO Claudio Bergamo told analysts he expected growth to finish the year around that pace.

"We had a very erratic year for demand," Bergamo said on a conference call on third-quarter earnings. "Some months it was good; other months, not so good."

Still, he said he did not expect much of a change from the overall 10 percent rate.

Shares of Hypermarcas rose 1.5 percent in Sao Paulo trading, nearing a 30-month high.

Retailers and consumer goods makers in Brazil have faced a roller coaster this year as high inflation and widespread political protests prompted consumers to change their shopping habits, even as a robust job market has supported their purchasing power.

On Saturday, Hypermarcas' third-quarter earnings beat analysts' estimates after revenue rose faster than expenses. Net revenue was up 12 percent on an annual basis because of product introductions and marketing campaigns that will continue in coming quarters, Bergamo said.

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