JOHANNESBURG, Sept 11 South Africa's Aspen
Pharmacare said on Wednesday its full-year earnings
rose by a quarter, helped by strong performance at home and
overseas, and it was planning a push into Russia.
Aspen, Africa's largest maker of generic drugs, said diluted
headline earnings totalled 786.9 cents per share, up from 626.9
cents a year earlier.
Headline earnings, the main measure of profit in South
Africa, exclude certain one-time items.
Revenue rose by 27 percent to 19.3 billion rand ($1.9
The company, which is 19 percent owned by Britain's
GlaxoSmithKline, has been on an aggressive acquisition
trail this year that has broadened its offering of medicines in
fast-growing regions such as Latin America and southeast Asia.
It said in June it would acquire a drugs and manufacturing
business from U.S. firm Merck in a $1 billion deal to
bolster its presence in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
It is also in talks to buy thrombosis drugs and a French
factory from GlaxoSmithKline, in another deal likely to be worth
The completion of these deals will expand its portfolio of
global brands, the company said in a statement.
"This will enable Aspen to establish its own business units
in Russia, other former Soviet republics and across Europe as
well as extending its influence in Latin America and Asia," it
Shares of Aspen were up 2.5 percent at 250.20 rand at 11
GMT, outperforming a slight decline in Johannesburg's All-share