MUMBAI May 29 (Reuters) - Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd on Thursday reported a 3 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit, slightly below analysts' estimates due to higher raw material and employee expenses.
The company, among the world's largest suppliers of HIV/AIDS medicines, said January-March net profit was 2.61 billion rupees ($44.33 million), compared with 2.68 billion rupees a year earlier. Analysts on average expected 2.76 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Net sales rose about 15 percent to 21.94 billion rupees, while total expenses shot up 35 percent.
Cipla, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in India, gets more than half its revenue through exports to nearly 180 overseas markets, including Africa, Latin America and the United States.
Shares of the company, down 6.4 percent so far this year, closed down 2 percent on Thursday, in line with the main Mumbai market. ($1 = 58.8750 Indian Rupees) (Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)