India's Wockhardt Q4 profit down 78 pct on import bans

MUMBAI Mon May 26, 2014 7:30am EDT

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MUMBAI May 26 (Reuters) - Indian drugmaker Wockhardt Ltd on Monday reported a 78 percent slump in March-quarter profit, as it continues to reel under the U.S. and U.K. import bans due to manufacturing quality lapses.

The company's January-March net profit fell to 744.5 million rupees ($12.76 million) compared with 3.35 billion rupees a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected fourth-quarter profit of 747 million rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Sales fell 30 percent to 10.4 billion rupees in the quarter.

In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an import alert, effectively a ban, against Wockhardt's Chikalthana plant in western India. The FDA had imposed a ban on the company's Waluj plant in May.

The United States is Wockhardt's largest market.

($1 = 58.3575 Indian Rupees) (Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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