FRANKFURT, March 27 (Reuters) - Stada, a German maker of generic and non-prescription drugs, said it would stick to its strategy of growing in Russia and Eastern Europe, hoping to soon overcome the effects of tension between Ukraine and Russia.
“We are convinced that the situation will stabilise, that consumers will become more confident again... It won’t take that long,” said Chief Executive Hartmut Retzlaff.
Stada this week scrapped its profit forecast for this year, citing the effects of tension between the West and Russia, its second-biggest market, and sending its shares to the lowest level in almost a year.
With medical insurers playing a lesser role than in Western Europe, business there is driven by consumers who pay for pharmaceuticals and non-prescription drugs out of their own pocket.
“The general public in Russia has a different view of the crisis than we might have here. People there are concerned that the situation might escalate, if only via economic sanctions,” Retzlaff added.
As a result, drug distributors have cut their inventory levels in the first quarter, he said. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan)