July 30, 2010 / 3:58 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Daiichi Sankyo Q1 profit jumps, led by Ranbaxy

* Keeps annual profit forecast at Y85 bln, below consensus

* Shares up 0.8 pct after results vs Nikkei’s 1.9 pct fall (Adds background, share price reaction)

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) - Daiichi Sankyo (4568.T), Japan’s No. 3 drugmaker, said on Friday that its first-quarter recurring profit jumped nearly tenfold and kept its annual outlook, boosted by its Indian arm Ranbaxy.

Daiichi posted an April-June recurring profit of 70.1 billion yen ($808 million), up from 7.2 billion yen a year earlier. It kept its forecast for recurring profit to drop 18 percent to 85 billion yen in the year to March.

The company’s full-year forecast is short of the consensus of a 99 billion yen profit in a poll of 15 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Daiichi bought a majority stake in Indian generic drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories RANB.BO in 2008 and launched a new flagship drug, blood-thinner Effient, this year.

The makers of new drugs, including Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical (4502.T) and Astellas Pharma (4503.T) as well as global rivals, are struggling to develop strong successors to their mainstay drugs which face imminent patent expirations.

Effient has generated disappointing initial sales, but it, as well as Ranbaxy, have put Daiichi at a relative advantage, as other drugmakers have recently failed to launch new drugs and are mainly dependent on brand drugs.

Ranbaxy reported a net profit of 9.6 billion rupees for January-March, the first quarter of its financial year, compared with a net loss of 7.7 billion rupees in the year-ago quarter. [ID:nSGE64A0IB] Daiichi’s results reflect Ranbaxy’s with the timelag of a quarter.

Daiichi Sankyo shares were up 0.8 percent at 1,587 yen after the announcement.

The stock lost 14 percent as of Thursday's close from the start of the year, underperforming the benchmark Nikkei 225 average .N225, which shed 8 percent during the same period. (Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani)

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