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Wockhardt results: Net loss widens to Rs174.72 crore on US FDA issues

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-05-2017 Isha Trivedi

Mumbai: Drug maker Wockhardt Ltd’s loss widened in the quarter ended March from a year ago because of expenses on remedial measures at plants facing regulatory issues and subdued business in the US and UK.

Net loss widened to Rs174.72 crore in the three months from Rs5.38 crore in the year earlier, Wockhardt said.

Net sales fell 14.5% to Rs863.53 crore.

Wockhardt has been grappling with quality control issues raised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the past four years.

Its formulations units at Chikalthana and Waluj in Maharashtra have been under the FDA’s import alert since 2013 for violations of manufacturing standards.

A bulk drug plant at Ankleshwar in Gujarat was issued an import alert in August 2016.

Wockhardt’s so-called step-down unit in the US, Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals Inc., received a warning letter in March and its indirect subsidiary in the UK, CP Pharmaceuticals, received a warning letter for its Wrexham facility in November.

“While clear focus on cost containments and rationalization gave positive impact, on-going expenses on remedial measures for US FDA-related issues impacted profitability. In the US, genericization of some of the products of the company also impacted business,” Wockhardt said in a statement.

The company’s business in the UK was hurt by adverse currency movement and was skewed by the high base of last year when it had posted some one-time gains, according to the statement.

Sales in the domestic market declined 4% during the quarter due to the impact of a government move to invalidate Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes, the company said.

Wockhardt’s spending on research and development (R&D) was at Rs90 crore in the March quarter, accounting for 11% of sales.

On Thursday, shares of Wockhardt rose 0.9% to Rs715.10 on BSE, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.8% to 30,126.21 points.

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