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Lupin posts third-quarter loss on charge related to blood pressure drug

The logo of Lupin is seen on the facade of its pharmaceutical plant in Verna, Goa, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

(Reuters) - Indian drugmaker Lupin Ltd posted a surprise quarterly loss on Wednesday after taking a one-time charge related to litigation over a blood pressure drug.

Lupin made a provision of 3.42 billion rupees ($47.7 million) after the General Court of the European Union in December upheld a 2014 European Commission decision on a fine against Lupin related to the blood pressure drug Perindopril, it said.

Lupin had a net loss of 1.52 billion rupees compared to a profit of 2.22 billion rupees in the same quarter last year, the company said.

An average of estimates from 18 analysts had expected a profit of 2.89 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Lupin's sales rose 12.2 percent to 43.7 billion rupees in the quarter. Revenue from North America, which accounted for nearly a third of total revenue, slipped 1 percent.

"After a tough H1, we are now starting to see growth in the U.S.," said Nilesh Gupta, managing director of Lupin Ltd.

Indian pharmaceutical companies have struggled with weak sales in the United States on account of regulatory bans and warnings over quality control at production plants.

Sales have also been hit by pricing pressures as competition heats up in the U.S. generics market.

The company's revenue in India jumped 11.4 percent to 11.9 billion rupees.

Shares of Lupin fell 1.2 percent after the results were announced, while the broader Mumbai market rose over 1 percent.


($1 = 71.6200 Indian rupees)


(Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; editing by Darren Schuettler)