* Says no longer expects to completely reach 2014 forecasts
* Cites weak rouble, uncertain situation in Russia
* Sees slight growth in adjusted sales and earnings
* Shares drop almost 15 percent
(Adds further details on outlook, analyst comment, closing
FRANKFURT, March 24 German generic drugmaker
Stada Arzneimittel has scrapped its sales and profit
forecasts for this year, citing the effects of the tensions
between Ukraine and Russia, its second-biggest market, and
sending its shares to the lowest level in almost a year.
The political crisis over Ukraine has pushed the rouble to
an all-time low this year, and no quick resolution is in sight
after Russia annexed the Crimea region this month.
In addition, companies are increasingly concerned that trade
with Russia could take a hit if the United States and the
European Union impose broad economic sanctions.
Russia is Stada's biggest market after Germany, accounting
for about 20 percent of group sales, but its revenues are being
hit by a 25 percent slide in the rouble against the
euro in the past year. The Ukrainian hryvnia is down
almost 20 percent against the euro in the past 12 months.
As recently as three weeks ago Stada had stuck with an
outlook for 2014 sales of 2.15 billion euros ($3 billion) and
adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) of 430 million.
It saw adjusted net profit jumping to 215 million euros from
last year's 160.6 million.
But on Monday it said it no longer expected to completely
achieve those targets and was now forecasting slight growth in
annual sales, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net profit.
The new outlook is not directly comparable with the old one
because Stada said it was now including in its adjustments
negative effects from the weak rouble and other currencies in
eastern European and the former Soviet states.
"We completely struggle to reconcile the magnitude of the
earnings cut," Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Oliver Reinberg said.
"If CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) is alone driving
this cut, it would imply that Russian profits fall suddenly (to)
close to zero."
Shares in Stada dropped almost 15 percent to 29.395 euros,
the biggest fall in Germany's mid-cap index and the
stock's lowest level since April 2013.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Potter and Greg