ADCOCK Ingram flagged nine-month losses and gave a gloomy outlook yesterday, pushing its shares to their lowest closing level in almost five years.

The stock slumped almost 7 percent before recouping some losses to close 5.27 percent lower at R48.68, a level last seen in December 2009.

Adcock said its headline loss a share would probably fall in the range of R1.75 to R1.85 when it reported the results for the nine months to June later this month. It posted headline earnings a share of R2.717 in the same period a year earlier.

Adcock is trailing rivals, such as Aspen Pharmacare, as it grapples with slowing sales, over-reliance on a heavily regulated home market and a poor distribution network.

The second-biggest local drug maker is in the middle of a turnaround plan led by Bidvest, which torpedoed a takeover bid from Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals earlier this year. The plan is aimed at making it more nimble and increasing accountability by reorganising operations to match the decentralised model of Bidvest.

It gave investors little comfort about when it would start turning a profit, saying it was too early for the strategy to start bearing fruit.