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UPDATE 1-Finland's Oriola-KD sells Russian business to Pharmacy Chain 36.6
December 8, 2014 / 2:42 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Finland's Oriola-KD sells Russian business to Pharmacy Chain 36.6

(Adds CEO comment, new 2014 outlook)

HELSINKI, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Finnish retail and wholesale drug company Oriola-KD said it had agreed to sell its loss-making Russian businesses to Pharmacy Chain 36.6 for about 56 million euros ($69 million).

The announcement follows Reuters reporting on Friday that Russia’s competition watchdog had approved the acquisition, and that Pharmacy Chain 36.6 was looking to close the deal during the course of Monday.

Some analysts had expected a lower price, and shares in Oriola were up 9.4 percent at 3.25 euros, their highest in more than 3-1/2 years, by 1420 GMT. Pharmacy Chain 36.6 fell 3.2 percent.

In the first nine months of the year, the Russian business had sales of 558 million euros with an operating loss of 102.5 million euros, the company said.

“The Russian businesses have fallen behind set goals for several years,” Oriola chief executive Eero Hautaniemi said in a statement.

Oriola also lifted its full-year outlook for continuing operations following the deal, saying it now estimated sales to be flat and adjusted operating profit to rise from 2013. It had previously forecast falling sales and profit.

“Going forward, we will focus on developing our profitable businesses in Finland, Sweden and Baltic countries,” Hautaniemi said.

$1 = 0.8153 euros Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; editing by Sabina Zawadzki and David Evans

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