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LJUBLJANA, May 11 (Reuters) - Slovenian generic drugs producer Krka on Thursday reported first-quarter group net profit of 42.7 million euros($46.45 million)versus 40.2 million a year earlier, showing the benefits of higher sales and favourable currency exchange movements.
Sales rose to 321 million euros from 300.9 million, the company said in a statement. The biggest sales increase was in the Russian Federation, Krka’s largest single market, where they were up by 31 percent to 73.8 million euros.
The company also confirmed its earlier plan to increase sales to 1.22 billion euros this year versus 1.17 billion in 2016 and to achieve a profit higher than last year’s 108.4 million euros, which was hit by price erosion and depreciation of some Eastern and Central European currencies.
“We plan to increase the number of employees by 4 percent (this year),” said Krka, which employs about 11,000 people at present.
Krka, which is Slovenia’s largest listed company with a market capitalisation of 1.7 billion euros, plans to increase the volume of sales on average by at least 5 percent per year in the years to 2020 and to remain an independent company.
$1 = 0.9192 euros Reporting by Marja Novak; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman