Aspen shares climb on better profits

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Pharma REUTERS A pharmacist counts pills in a pharmacy.

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.

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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