Johannesburg - Africa's biggest generic drugs maker, Aspen Pharmacare, reported a 17 percent increase in half-year profit on Thursday boosted by costs cuts and higher sales.
South Africa's Aspen said headline earnings per share totalled 371 cents in the six months to end-December compared with 316.4 cents a year earlier.
Headline EPS, the most widely watched profit measure in South Africa, excludes certain one-off items.
Aspen, the biggest generic drugs maker in the southern hemisphere, is likely to benefit from patent expiries of some of the best-selling name drugs around the world.
Sales increased 20 percent to 9 billion rand ($990.79 million) with core earnings, or EBITDA, at its Asia Pacific unit increasing by 29 percent, helped by strengthening currencies.
The company expects its Asia Pacific unit to become its biggest revenue generator in the coming year after acquiring Australia's Sigma Pharmaceuticals last year.
Shares in Aspen fell 1.2 percent to 183.85 rand as of 11:47 SA time, lagging behind a slightly higher JSE Top-40 index. - Reuters