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Biocon Q4 Beats Forecast, Shares Rise

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An expected licencing income helped Biocon, India's top-listed biotechnology company, post better-than-expected quarterly profit and lift its shares more than 4 per cent, but it said the global business outlook remained uncertain.

The maker of biosimilar medicines has been scouting for a new marketing partner in key markets such as the United States after Pfizer Inc scrapped a deal in March to sell insulin products of Biocon.

The company reported a net profit of Rs 97.8 crore in its fiscal fourth-quarter ended March, sharply above Rs 79.6 crore expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The earnings of Biocon, which has marketing partners in many countries, were helped by a licensing income of Rs 46.3 crore.

"The licensing income is a big surprise, we did not anticipate it," said Siddhant Khandekar, analyst at ICICI Direct.

"However, business uncertainty continues for the company after the Pfizer deal got terminated ... it has to find a new global partner."

Shares in Biocon, valued at Rs 4,569.09 crore, were up 4.6 per cent at 237.2 rupees in a slightly firm Mumbai market.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 100 crore in the year-earlier period, but has since sold off a unit making it not comparable for the latest period.

Still, net sales jumped 30 per cent to Rs 610 crore, above expectations of Rs 515 crore, thanks to robust domestic demand for formulations and bio-pharmaceuticals.

"We have delivered particularly strong growth in our research services and branded formulations business," Biocon's chairwoman, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, said in a statement.

She said the global economic outlook remains uncertain but the company was hopeful.


(Reuters)