May 29, 2014 / 1:27 PM / 3 years ago

Cipla Q4 net profit down 3 percent on higher costs

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Drugmaker Cipla Ltd (CIPL.NS) on Thursday reported a 3 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit, slightly below analysts' estimates due to higher raw material and employee expenses.

The company, among the world's largest suppliers of HIV/AIDS medicines, said January-March net profit was 2.61 billion rupees ($44.33 million), compared with 2.68 billion rupees a year earlier. Analysts on average expected 2.76 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Net sales rose about 15 percent to 21.94 billion rupees, while total expenses shot up 35 percent.

Cipla, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in India, gets more than half its revenue through exports to nearly 180 overseas markets, including Africa, Latin America and the United States.

Shares of the company, down 6.4 percent so far this year, closed down 2 percent on Thursday, in line with the Nifty.($1 = 58.8750 rupees)

Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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