January 30, 2020 / 11:45 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Slovenia's Krka 2019 preliminary group net profit up 39%

(Updates with quote, details, share price)

LJUBLJANA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Slovenia’s generic drugs producer Krka made a group net profit of 242.1 million euros ($268.59 million) last year, 39% higher than in 2018, boosted by higher sales, the company said, citing preliminary unaudited figures.

Sales rose by 12% to 1.49 billion euros, it added in a statement on Thursday.

The company also confirmed its November forecast according to which net profit this year will reach about 210 million euros on sales of 1.52 billion euros.

It said sales in Eastern Europe, Krka’s largest market, rose by 17% in 2019 while the same growth was achieved in Western Europe. The number of employees rose by 2.3% last year to reach 12,770 and is expected to increase by about 3% this year.

Krka also denied Romanian media reports, published earlier this month, alleging graft at its Romanian unit.

“Krka has instigated an internal investigation and has found that allegations about the systemic corruption in Romania are not justified,” it said.

Full 2019 results will be published on March 19.

Shares of Krka, Slovenia’s largest listed company, rose by 4.31% to 77.4 euros after the news was released, pushing up the blue-chip SBI index which gained 1.2%. ($1 = 0.9014 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak; editing by David Evans and Nick Macfie)

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