February 6, 2018 / 9:55 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-India's Lupin Q3 profit misses estimates on lower sales in North America, forex losses

* Q3 profit 2.22 bln rupees vs 4.21 bln rupees analyst view

* North America sales down 34 pct

* Forex loss of 821 mln rupees (Adds details, comment from managing director)

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Lupin Ltd, India’s second-largest drugmaker by revenue, on Tuesday reported lower-than-expected third-quarter net profit, hurt by lower sales in North America and foreign exchange losses.

Indian pharmaceutical companies have struggled with weak sales in the United States on account of regulatory bans and warnings over quality control violations at production plants.

Sales have also been hit by pricing pressures on account of rising competition in the generics market in the U.S.

Lupin said its sales in North America, which accounts for more than a third of its total sales, fell 34 percent to 14.32 billion rupees ($223.29 million). Net sales slipped 11.5 percent to 39 billion rupees.

“The quarterly performance was muted on the back of business mix as well as forex losses,” said Nilesh Gupta, managing director.

Profit fell 65 percent to 2.22 billion rupees for the quarter ended Dec. 31, well below an average analysts' estimate of 4.21 billion rupees, Thomson Reuters data showed. (bit.ly/2E47T4m)

Lupin said its profit was hit by a foreign exchange loss of 821 million rupees compared to a gain of 276 mllion rupees a year earlier.

The company also incurred a charge of 361 million rupees as a result of recalculating deferred tax assets related to its United States operations due to the introduction of a new tax regime. ($1 = 64.1325 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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