May 15, 2009 / 9:10 AM / 10 years ago

Krka shares jump 6 pct on buyback plan, results

LJUBLJANA, May 15 (Reuters) - Shares in Slovenia’s generic drugs producer Krka(KRKG.LJ) jumped 6 percent in Friday morning trade after the company announced plans to buy back its own shares.

Analysts said the market also reacted positively to Krka’s statement that its 2009 profit could be above forecast and that group net profit in the first quarter of 2009 was unchanged from a year-ago despite the global crisis.

“The market reacted well to Krka’s results but today’s share rise is mostly a result of the announcement that the company will buy its own shares,” said Jernej Kozlevcar of investment firm Triglav DZU.

By 0846 GMT shares were up 5.82 percent at 64.5 euros ($87.77) while the local SBI market index .SBI was up 1.66 percent.

Krka said on Thursday it wanted to boost ownership of its own shares to 10 percent from the current 4.6 percent within the next three years.

It also said group net profit in 2009 could be 69.3 million euros higher than 161 million euros forecast originally as the company expects to release provisions set aside for law suits over patents recently revoked by the European Patent Office.

Krka also said its first-quarter net profit was 43.9 million euros, compared with 44 million in the same period of 2008.

Kozlevcar said further share movements will depend on global market trends while the market awaits new information about Krka’s share buyback and the expected 2009 profit. ($1=.7349 euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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