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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lupin targets 50% sales from brands

This Q&A first appeared in DNA Money edition on Thursday, Aug 8, 2013.

Lupin Ltd reported 43% increase on-year rise in the first-quarter net profit at Rs 401.1 crore. Analysts, however, were not impressed over 5% fall in domestic revenues and 12% sales drop in Japanese market, which led to the stock falling 6.5% on Wednesday. Vinita Gupta, CEO, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc and group president & CEO elect, Lupin Ltd, spoke about the Street's concerns and expansion plans. Excerpts from the interview:

On first quarter results
The concern is that a big part of our income about Rs 100 crore is other income. But the P&L is presented in a way that it captures just one part of the foreign exchange impact.
The Rs 100 crore is primarily forex impact on transaction gain and the other lines in the P&L capture the expenditure. So, the net forex impact is Rs 30 crore. Besides, this is also after a long time when our revenue grew in single digit. The reason primarily is the slowdown in India business, the US business grew 20% in dollar terms and 25% in rupee terms. India has been a challenge with National List of Essential Medicines, which came into effect in June. Our Japan business grew 5% in yen terms but yen depreciated so in rupee terms we had an impact.

On next level of growthWe have a host of growth drivers. On the generic side -- in the US as well as other parts of the world like Japan -- we have a huge pipeline of over 175 products, of which only about 50 have come into the market. We are also working on growing the pipeline and investing in differentiated platforms that will help us in long-term growth for the generics business.

On new drug discovery plansOur biggest differentiator is we are trying to build, will be the Novel Drug Discovery and Development (NDDD) programme. Our efforts are directed towards identifying and developing new therapies for areas including metabolic/endocrine disorders, pain and inflammation, autoimmune diseases, CNS disorders, cancer and infectious diseases. We have a portfolio of 10 novel compounds that are moving through a robust pipeline from discovery to development.

On specialty / branded businessWe are trying build the brand business in the US to start with and have also started looking at other markets. If you look at our business 60% is generics and the balance is branded. The branded business is more profitable compared to generics hence is more sustainable in the long term. It is our endeavour to make branded 50% or more.

On Alinia deal with RomarkWe have acquired rights for US market for Alinia drug from Romark. We have partnered with them on the oral suspension which is focused on the pediatric market. They were doing $2 million in the pediatric market and we have taken over that revenue and would build it from here. While the overall market for that drug is $2 billion the pediatric part is small and we think we have a very good product to be able to get a good share.

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