REUTERS - Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (SUN.NS), India's third-largest drugmaker by revenue, on Thursday reported a 57 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit, slightly above expectations, helped by higher sales in the United States, its largest market.
The company, which is in the process of acquiring loss-making rival Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd (RANB.NS), posted a net profit of 15.87 billion rupees ($269.55 million) in January-March, compared with 10.12 billion rupees a year earlier. Analysts on average expected 15.74 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Sales in January-March rose 32 percent to 40.44 billion rupees. The company also said it expects a 13 to 15 percent growth in sales in full-year 2015.
Sun Pharma, a bellwether in India's $15-billion pharmaceutical industry, agreed in April to buy Ranbaxy from Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Ltd (4568.T) for $3.2 billion, creating the world's fifth-largest maker of generic drugs.
The drugmaker, however, faces an uphill task in turning around Ranbaxy's business and fixing manufacturing quality issues that have resulted in several Ranbaxy plants being barred from exporting to the United States.
Sun Pharma is also working towards resolving quality control issues that got its Karkhadi, India, plant banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March.
The company's shares, which are up 4 percent so far this year, ended 0.43 percent higher, while the Nifty was down 1.3 percent.
($1 = 58.8750 rupees)
(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai; Editing by Sunil Nair)