India’s Sun Pharma posts near-30% rise in Q4 profit on lower input costs

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, India’s largest drugmaker by revenue, on Friday reported a 29.6% rise in fourth-quarter profit, as it benefited from lower expenses and higher sales of specialty drugs.

The company’s consolidated profit before exceptional items and tax rose to 24.11 billion rupees ($291.7 million) for the quarter ended March 31, it said in an exchange filing.

Total revenue from operations climbed 15.7% to 109.31 billion rupees, while input costs declined 13.2%.

The company, founded in 1983, makes over-the-counter medications, anti-retrovirals and active pharmaceutical ingredients for chronic and acute treatments.

Drug sales in India, which account for over 31% of Sun Pharma’s total consolidated sales, rose 8.7% year-on-year, while U.S. sales climbed 20.9%.

The company said it was impacted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s import alert in December at a plant in Gujarat, without elaborating.

Despite the popularity of its generics business, the intense price competition prompted the drugmaker to enter the high-margin specialty segment about seven years ago. Its global specialty drugs sales rose 28%.

In March, Sun Pharma completed acquisition of U.S.-based Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc, giving it access to the company’s late-stage drug deuruxolitinib to treat patchy baldness.

Its exceptional item for the March quarter, amounting to 1.71 billion rupees, included Concert Pharma’s acquisition-related expenses of 643.9 million rupees.

The company proposed a final dividend of 4 rupees per share for the year financial year 2023, adding to a previously paid interim dividend of 7.5 rupees per share.

Shares of Sun Pharma settled 2.6% higher after the results, and snapped six weeks of losses with a gain of 4.8% for the week.

Rivals Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd and Cipla Ltd posted higher profits earlier in the month.

($1 = 82.6420 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)