* Eastern sales, good exchange rates, mild costs lift profit
* Sales in Central Europe, Hungary plunge-earnings report
BUDAPEST Nov 14 Hungarian drug maker Egis
boosted its profits by 40 percent in annual terms in
its fourth quarter, helped by rising exports to former Soviet
It posted a net profit of 18.79 billion forints ($83.80
million) in the July-September period, while its sales rose 3
percent to 132.8 billion forints, Egis said in its earnings
report on Wednesday.
The cost of sales rose by only 0.6 percent, the company
said, adding that favourable forint exchange rates in the period
also helped its bottom line.
Exports, growing by 6 percent in euro terms from the same
quarter of the previous fiscal year, accounted for 78 percent of
Sales to the group's biggest foreign market, Russia, rose by
5 percent, while sales in Central Europe suffered, falling by 18
percent in Poland and 17 percent in Slovakia, Egis said.
Domestic sales fell 14 percent to 7.37 billion forints as
regulatory changes launched last year cut drug prices in
Hungary, Egis said.
It said the regulation, which recognizes drug makers'
research and development costs, allowed the company to reduce
its payments to the state social security by 90 percent or 775
million forints in the fiscal fourth quarter.
Egis shares closed at 16,800 forints, down 2.2 percent.
($1=224.2252 Hungarian forints)
(Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Mike Nesbit)