* 9-month net profit up more than 4-fold to 197 mln euros
* Revenues increase 53 pct to 1.96 bln euros
* Debt 2.5 bln euros vs 2.7 bln euros end-2011
(Adds deputy finance director comments, detail)
By Rodrigo De Miguel
MADRID, Oct 31 Spanish pharmaceutical firm
Grifols expects to cut through its 2.5 billion euros
($3.2 billion)of debt faster than previously forecast, the
company's deputy finance director said.
Grifols, which makes drugs derived from blood plasma,
reported a more than four-fold increase in net profit to 197
million euros on Wednesday, boosted by its acquisition of U.S.
firm Talecris in 2011.
The Barcelona-based company has cut 200 million euros of
debt so far this year and hopes to return to paying cash
dividends once it has further cut its debt.
Grifols, the third-biggest blood products maker in the
world, had debt of 2.5 billion euros at end-September, down from
2.7 billion euros at the end of last year, giving it a debt to
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortisation) ratio of 3.2.
Grifols had aimed to reduce this ratio to between 2.2 and
2.5 four years after buying Talecris for $4 billion.
"We can now hope to be there a year earlier...instead of
2015, it could be at the end of 2014," Deputy Finance Director
Nuria Pascual said in a phone interview after the results.
Grifols said on Monday it would propose a stock split and
capital increase to its shareholders at a meeting next month.
The capital increase offers an alternative way for the
company to reward shareholders as it pares its debt. As lending
to companies and banks has evaporated in Spain, making raising
cash harder, firms have redirected the money that was once
destined for dividends to pay down debt and fund investments.
"We still want to return to paying dividends in cash but our
priority is reducing debt," Pascual said.
The company will propose issuing one new Class B non-voting
share for every 20 existing shares to investors at a Dec. 3
Grifols, the best performing stock on Spain's bluechip index
over the past year, also reported a 53 percent rise in revenues
to 1.96 billion euros, in line with analyst expectations.
IMMUNE TO SPAIN
Grifols, a market leader in North America, said sales there
grew 22.5 percent and represented 63 percent of its turnover.
The company bought three plasma donation centres in the
United States in September and has focused on regions such as
Latin America and Asia-Pacific as it reduces exposure to its
crisis-hit home market.
Turnover fell 8.6 percent year-on-year to 165 million euros
in Spain, which now accounts for just 8 percent of its turnover.
Reduced Spanish exposure also shields it from the issue of
Catalonian independence. Its headquarters are in the regional
capital of Barcelona, currently engaged in battle with Madrid
"Two-thirds of our production is in the United States, 90
percent of our debt is denominated in dollars...It's not
something that affects us, we're a global company," Pascual
Grifols shares were flat at 1611 GMT, having more than
doubled in value over the past year. Bankia, the
worst-performer on Spain's IBEX 35 index has shed almost
70 percent in the same time.
($1 = 0.7705 euros)
(Additonal reporting and writing by Clare Kane, editing by