March 18, 2010 / 5:41 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-SAfrica's Cipla lifts FY profit, to add cancer drugs

* Headline EPS up 25.8 pct

* Revenue up 26.9 pct

* To add 20 cancer drugs in 2010/11

(Adds details)

JOHANNESBURG, March 18 (Reuters) - South African generic drugs group Cipla Medpro CMPJ.J posted a 26.8 percent rise in full-year profit helped by its relationship and product pipeline from its Indian partner.

Cipla Medpro, which rebuffed rival Adcock Ingram’s (AIPJ.J) 2.1 billion rand takeover bid last year, said on Thursday headline earnings per share rose to 36.6 cents compared with 29.1 cents in the previous year.

The company, whose small manufacturing unit suffered losses of 35.6 million rand, enjoys a relationship with Indian drug maker Cipla Limited (CIPL.BO), which delivers a regular flow of first to market patent expired molecules.

Cipla Medpro said it would add 20 new drugs this financial year, targeting a host of cancers including breast, colon and lung cancer — three of the leading causes of cancer related deaths globally.

Revenue rose 26.9 percent to 1.26 billion rand ($172.7 million), while gross profit margin fell to 49.2 percent from 49.6 percent. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

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