February 12, 2009 / 1:25 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Aspen sees H1 headline EPS up 65-80 pct on expansion

* Sees EPS up 45-60 pct

* International expansion boosts profit

* Shares up 2 pct

(Adds details)

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd (APNJ.J) expects to report a 65-80 percent rise in first- half headline EPS driven by international expansion, it said on Thursday, boosting its shares more than 2 percent.

Aspen, Africa’s biggest generic drug maker, said EPS was expected to rise 45-60 percent. The difference between the two forecasts was due to non-recurring capital profits which inflated the year-ago EPS figure.

Shares in Aspen rose 2 percent to 41.31 rand by 1313 GMT, outpacing a 1.5 percent rise in the broader All-share index .JALSH.

Aspen said last month it was in unspecified talks and industry experts believe it is a potential takeover target for Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L).

Headline earnings per share is the main profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off, financial and non-trading items.

Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng

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