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UPDATE 2-Germany's Stada scraps forecast for 2014 due to Ukraine crisis
March 24, 2014 / 2:31 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Germany's Stada scraps forecast for 2014 due to Ukraine crisis

* 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 share price)

FRANKFURT, March 24 (Reuters) - 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. ($1=0.7256 euros) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Potter and Greg Mahlich)

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