Biocon's Q4 profit plummets by 62 per cent

Biotechnology firm Biocon on Tuesday announced a consolidated net profit of Rs24.88 crore for the quarter ended 31 March - nearly a 62 per cent decline over the same period a year ago, largely due to losses arising out of aligning asset prices to market value. The company had a net profit of Rs65.30 crore in the last financial quarter of 2008.

Consolidated total income increased to Rs486.56 crore for the quarter from Rs279.22 crore a year ago, Biocon said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. "Consolidated FY'09 earnings have also been burdened with the impact of added depreciation of Rs16 crore reflecting capital investments incurred to support future growth," the company said.

Biocon added that the "unpredictable rupee depreciation induced by the global economic crisis has adversely impacted consolidated FY'09 earnings, wherein losses of Rs147 crore on account of MTM were provided."

Commenting on the results, Biocon chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said, "Fiscal year 2009 has been one of our most challenging years, as foreign currency volatility made it difficult to manage a sharply depreciating rupee, resulting in large MTM (mark to market) losses."

For the financial year ending 31 March, the consolidated net profit stood at Rs93.12 crore as compared to Rs463.90 crore in 2008. Total income increased to Rs1,673.22 crore in the March quarter from Rs1,090.20 crore in the year ago period.

The company declared a 60 per cent dividend, or Rs3 per share, subject to shareholders' approval.

Looking ahead, Shaw said the company's new hedging strategy was aimed at addressing the years ahead. "Our branded formulations business under our healthcare umbrella has made rapid strides in garnering market share for our key brands in cardiology, diabetology, nephrology and oncology. We see this as being a high growth segment in our business strategy going ahead," she said.