India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories suffered a 52 per cent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday as currency volatility offset bumper sales of generic drugs and said its chief executive will step down next week after just over a year in the job.
The company gave no reason for the surprise departure,effective Aug 19,of Atul Sobti,who is also managing director.
Arun Sawhney,now president of the company’s global pharmaceuticals business,will take his place as managing director.
Ranbaxy reported an April-to-June net profit of USD 72 million compared with a profit of USD 139 million a year earlier.
The fall was due to large foreign currency gains in the June 2009 quarter,which were not replicated this year,said Bino Pathiparampil,an analyst at Mumbai’s IIFL Capital.
But the drop in profit was less than expected,reflecting bumper US sales of Ranbaxy’s generic version of Valtrex,a blockbuster herpes drug made by GlaxoSmithKline.
A poll of 21 analysts by Thomson Reuters had forecast net profit of USD 28 million.
“If we remove the US,overall it’s continuing to be dull in terms of growth and profitability,” Pathiparampil said.
The stock closed down 0.5 per cent,at USD 9.5 a share,on the Bombay Stock Exchange in an otherwise flat market.