April 27, 2009 / 3:32 AM / 10 years ago

India's Ranbaxy to trim European operations -chmn

NEW DELHI, April 27 (Reuters) - Leading Indian drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories RANB.BO, which on Friday posted a $153 million first-quarter loss and forecast for a annual loss, plans to trim its European operations, its chairman said.

Malvinder Singh told analysts in a conference call his company would cut back on chasing higher volumes and focus on profits from the European markets, where prices have fallen sharply on the back of tough competition and the firm has “barely managed” to breakeven in the past three years.

“We did decide that in Europe we would rather be happier with a more bottom line approach rather than going for volumes ... therefore, we’ve started pulling back, especially in the UK, recently even in Germany,” he said late on Friday.

“And in France, in 2009 we’ll give it a good shot, because that’s one area, which we still believe that has some promise.”

Ranbaxy, in which Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo (4568.T) owns a controlling stake, said revenue from the European market fell 14 percent in the March quarter from a year earlier.

The company has been facing trouble in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in February Ranbaxy had sold misbranded or adulterated drugs in the United States, having earlier banned imports of more than 30 generic drugs.

“We are maintaining a close and regular dialogue with FDA and corrective actions are underway. Our internal team along with regulatory consultants and legal experts continue to work intently towards addressing and resolving all issues that are currently open,” Singh said.

For a story on Ranbaxy results, see [ID:nBOM436965]. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

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