April 28, 2008 / 9:30 AM / 11 years ago

Wockhardt quarterly net down 23 pct, shares dip

MUMBAI, April 28 (Reuters) - Drugmaker Wockhardt Ltd (WCKH.BO) on Monday posted an unexpected 23 percent fall in quarterly net profit on one-time derivatives-related losses, pulling down its shares.

A one-time mark-to-market charge of 279 million rupees saw the Mumbai-based company posting a net profit of 509 million rupees for the quarter ended March 31, well below a Reuters poll estimate for 995.1 million rupees.

The losses were due to Wockhardt’s long-term hedging instruments that were bought to reduce the interest costs for the company’s loans, Wockhardt said in a statement.

The company did not specify how much its loans were, but said it was hedging the interest for 50 percent of its long-term loans.

Revenue, however, rose 50.3 percent to 7.86 billion rupees, slightly above anlaysts’ forecast of 7.71 billion rupees.

Analysts were expecting Wockhardt’s acquisitions to drive growth in the quarter.

Last year, Wockhardt acquired U.S.-based liquid generics and speciality skin products maker Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals Inc and French pharmaceutical group Negma Laboratories.

“This (Morton Grove and Negma) has enabled us to increase our operating profit by 50 percent and thus maintain a margin of 22 percent,” Chairman Habil Khorakiwala said in a statement.

Wockhardt shares have slipped 27 percent in 2008 as of Friday, underperforming the BSE Healthcare index .BSEHC index, which fell 4.9 percent. At 2:47 p.m., the shares were trading 2.5 percent lower at 296.80 rupees in a weak Mumbai market. (Reporting by Bharghavi Nagaraju; editing by Sunil Nair)

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