Aspen shares climb on better profits


Johannesburg - Aspen Pharmacare rallied the most in more than a month after Africa’s largest generic drugmaker said annual earnings growth quickened.

The stock climbed as much as 2.7 percent, the biggest intraday increase since July 15.

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A pharmacist counts pills in a pharmacy. File image: Reuters

It traded up 0.8 percent at 300.15 rand as of 12:20 pm in Johannesburg, bringing the gain this year to 12 percent.

Earnings per share excluding one-time items rose 26 percent to 32 percent in the year ended June 30, the Durban, South Africa-based company said in a statement today.

That compares with an increase of 21 percent to 7.88 rand a year ago.

Aspen’s shares tumbled 6.2 percent, the most in more than five years, on June 27 after Deputy chief executive Gus Attridge told analysts the South African unit “had a disappointingly lower second half,” as the value of anti- retroviral tenders dropped.

The company supplies medicines in more than 150 countries and last year bought injectable thrombosis brands, including a manufacturing site and inventory, from London-based GlaxoSmithKline for 700 million pounds (R12.3 billion).

The company will report full earnings on September 10. - Bloomberg News

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