Wockhardt loss narrows to Rs 14 crore in Q4, sales decline 4%

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Drug maker Wockhardt’s loss narrowed to Rs 14 crore in the fourth quarter ended March on account of cost reduction. The company posted a net loss of Rs 155 crore during the same period of the previous year.

Sales for Q4FY19 fell 4 percent to Rs 979 crore compared to Rs 1,018 crore in the year-ago period.

On a sequential basis also losses narrowed, but revenues dropped 6.4 percent.

The company in the third quarter ended December posted Rs 71 crore loss and Rs 1,046 crore in sales.

On a year-on-year basis, Wockhardt trimmed its expenses by 8.4 percent. The employee benefit expenses dropped 13 percent on YoY basis.

For the full year ended March 2019, Wockhardt posted a net loss of Rs 194 crore and revenues of Rs Rs 4,158 crore.

“The costs of on-going remedial measures continued to impact profitability,” Wockhardt said in a statement.

The company, however, said the focus on strategic R&D initiatives of the company in the global arena continued to remain one of the key priorities.

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 has issued an import alert in August 2016.

Wockhardt’s step-down unit in the US, Morton Grov Pharmaceuticals, received a warning letter in March 2017 and its indirect subsidiary in the UK, CP Pharmaceuticals, received a warning letter for its Wrexham facility in November of that year.

The company’s business in the UK that accounts over a third of sales remained flat, while the US business that contributes around 19 percent grew at 3.4 percent.

Sales in the domestic market declined 17 percent on YoY. India accounted for about 31 percent of Wockhardt sales.

Wockhardt’s spending on research and development (R&D) was at Rs 69 crore in the March quarter, accounting for 7 percent of sales.

Wockhard has been investing in developing new drugs to treat antibiotic resistance.

Shares of Wockhardt on Monday gained 0.41 percent to close at Rs 408.65 on BSE, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.93 percent to end 38,600.34 points.


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