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Payout icing on Biocon bonus

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Mumbai
  • Published 23.04.08
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Mumbai, April 22: Biocon Ltd, which completes 30 years in November, today announced a 1:1 bonus and sweetened the offer to its shareholders with a dividend of Rs 3 per share and a special dividend of Rs 2 per share.

Consolidated net profits for the quarter ended March 31 rose nearly 7.6 per cent to Rs 65.3 crore compared with Rs 60.70 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Overall revenues in the fourth quarter (January-March) dipped slightly to Rs 279.22 crore from Rs 279.42 crore in the year-ago period.

For the year as a whole, the group posted a net profit of Rs 463.91 crore against Rs 200.25 crore in the previous year.

Total income rose to Rs 1,090.20 crore from Rs 989.55 crore for the year.

The Biocon stock closed 1 per cent higher at Rs 510.10 after rising to an intra-day high of Rs 551.50.

Biocon said revenues from research services grew 29 per cent to Rs 176 crore from Rs 136 crore, contributing 16 per cent to consolidated revenues in 2007-08, but currency appreciation and capacity expansion for future demand kept operating margins flat.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director, said, “We are pleased with our overall performance and have delivered the highest profits to date.

“The strong financial base enables us to recommend a 1:1 bonus issue that we believe will improve market liquidity to support Biocon’s growing profile as a bellwether stock in the life science sector,” she said.

The company is now planning to demerge Syngene — its contract research and manufacturing organisation — and list the entity this fiscal.

It is also splitting its cardio-diabetes group by launching a standalone cardiology division. This division is being launched to focus on brand building for its flagship statin-based product Statix as well as other products.

The cardiology market in India constitutes 10 per cent (Rs 3,200 crore) of the Indian pharma market and is growing at 21 per cent.

Escorts profit

Escorts Ltd today announced a net profit of Rs 9.68 crore for the second quarter ended March 31, 2008, against Rs 6.71 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, a 44.26 per cent increase.

The company’s total expenditure fell to Rs 485.48 crore for the quarter compared with Rs 529.04 crore in the year-ago period, according to unaudited financial results for the quarter ended March 31. Profit for six months rose to Rs 3.75 crore from Rs 3.67 crorea year ago .

“We have made significant gains in the past quarter because of improved operational efficiencies,” said escorts CMD Rajan Nanda.