UPDATE 1-Lupin expects India sales to grow 18-20 pct in fiscal 2015

Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:48am EDT

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By Zeba Siddiqui

MUMBAI, July 30 (Reuters) - Indian drugmaker Lupin Ltd expects its local business to grow between 18 and 20 percent this fiscal year, its chief executive said, after higher sales in the domestic market helped it post a 56 percent jump in quarterly net profit.

India, which made up nearly a fourth of Lupin's total sales in the June quarter, was a drag on its earnings in January-March as many of the company's drugs fell under the federal government's price cap order of last year.

India sales grew 29 percent in the quarter ended June, its fiscal first quarter, the company said on Wednesday.

Lupin, India's fourth-largest generic drugmaker by sales, has been on the lookout for acquisitions that would enhance its branded generics business in the United States, its biggest market.

Lupin is one of several firms planning to bid for a portfolio of older drugs being auctioned by Britain's GlaxoSmithKline Plc, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

"We are continuously on the lookout for opportunities that enhance our technology capabilities," Chief Executive Vinita Gupta said. She declined to comment on the GlaxoSmithKline auction.

PROFIT BEATS ESTIMATES

Lupin reported a first-quarter net profit of 6.25 billion rupees ($103.92 million), compared with 4.01 billion rupees a year earlier. Analysts on average expected a profit of 5.10 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Net sales rose 36 percent to 32.84 billion rupees, helped largely by a 57 percent jump in its formulation business in the United States, which accounted for 49 percent of its sales in the June quarter.

Rival Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, India's No.2 drugmaker by sales, on Wednesday reported a 52 percent jump in net profit to 5.5 billion rupees, in line with estimates, as its North American sales rose 51 percent in the June quarter.

Lupin's shares were up 4.5 percent at 1,169.35 rupees at 0935 GMT, while those of Dr Reddy's were up 1.7 percent at 2,817.20 rupees. The main market index was up 0.5 percent.

($1 = 60.14 Indian rupees) (Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Matt Driskill)

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