August 29, 2012 / 10:51 AM / 7 years ago

Pharmacy Chain 36.6 racks up losses on discount shift

* Posts 333 mln rouble net loss vs 304 mln in H1 2011

* Retail unit net loss flat at 1.1 bln roubles

* Net profit at drug producing unit Veropharm falls

MOSCOW, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Russian group Pharmacy Chain 36.6 reported deepening losses in the first half as its retail unit struggled with a shift towards discount stores and higher taxes hurt profits at its drug producing unit.

The group has been closing poorly performing stores and temporarily shutting other outlets to reopen them as discount stores, hitting sales and profitability, already hampered by sector-wide price regulations.

Net loss widened to 333 million roubles ($10.40 million) in January to June, Pharmacy Chain 36.6 said in a statement on Wednesday, compared with 304 million roubles a year earlier.

Its retail unit incurred a first-half net loss of 1.1 billion roubles, largely unchanged from a year ago, despite a 3 percent rise in sales to 7.5 billion roubles.

Net profit at its drug producing unit Veropharm fell to 783 million roubles from 881 million roubles a year ago, due to higher taxes and interest expenses, on sales flat at 3.2 billion roubles.

$1 = 32.0150 Russian roubles Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford

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