* Plan to launch 12-13 new drugs in U.S. in FY11 - CEO
* See some improvement in German business - CEO
* March qtr net profit at 1.7 bln rupees vs f’cast of 2 bln
MUMBAI, May 6 (Reuters) - India's Dr Reddy's Laboratories REDY.BO lagged analyst expectations in quarterly profit, but expects the launch of more than a dozen new drugs in the United States to boost growth in this financial year.
Chief Executive G.V. Prasad said a pick-up in sales of omeprazole, a generic version of AstraZeneca's AZN.L Prilosec, in the months ahead was also expected to underpin growth in the year that began on April 1.
“We are planning to launch 12 to 13 products this year in the United States, and some of them will be very significant,” Prasad told Reuters in a telephone interview from the company’s headquarters in southern city of Hyderabad.
India's No. 2 drugmaker by revenue launched omeprazole, which is used to treat stomach ulcers and acid reflux, last December, becoming the second generics maker after Perrigo PRGO.O to sell the copycat variant in the United States.
The Indian generics business boom has lured Western drug makers that want to raise exposure in fast-growing emerging markets where a burgeoning middle class wants the assurance of cheap, safe drugs.
The New York-listed company RDY.N reported a net profit of 1.7 billion rupees ($37 million) in the quarter to March, its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with a loss of 9.8 billion in the year-ago period.
Revenue fell 18 percent to 16.4 billion rupees, as sales in the United States, its biggest export market, nearly halved to 3.5 billion and European revenue declined by a third to 2.1 billion.
A Reuters poll of brokerages had estimated quarterly profit at 2.02 billion rupees on revenue of 17.54 billion.
Dr Reddy’s said the quarterly net profit was 2.53 billion rupees under Indian accounting standards, against 1.56 billion a year ago.
GERMAN UNIT WEIGHS
The company's sales in the United States were boosted in the year ago period by the acute migraine drug sumatriptan, a generic of GlaxoSmithKline's GSK.L Imitrex. Its exclusive marketing period ended in last August, allowing the entry of rivals.
Dr Reddy’s German unit Betapharm, which it bought in 2006 for $572 million, has been a drag on its earnings due to regulatory issues.
It started supplying drugs to German health insurers under contracts won in 2008, which has boosted volume but has crimped prices.
Dr Reddy’s wrote off about $174 million towards Betapharm’s goodwill and other intangibles in the December quarter following a “significant deterioration” in prices in the German market.
“Our Germany business has bottomed out and there will be some improvement going ahead but the improvement will not be very significant,” Prasad said.
Ranbaxy Laboratories RANB.BO, the top drugmaker by sales and majority owned by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo 4568.T, is expected to report 3.43 billion rupees in quarterly profit on Tuesday, compared with a loss of 7.6 billion a year ago. [ID:nSGE60H0IL]
Shares in Dr Reddy's, which the market values at $4.7 billion, ended up 0.2 percent on Thursday at 1,244.10 rupees in the main Mumbai market .BSESN that closed down 0.6 percent. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by David Cowell) ($1=45.3 rupees)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.