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Krka Profit Up 17% in H1 (II)

Novo mesto, 29 July (STA) - Drug maker Krka said Thursday it had generated EUR 500m in sales in the first half of the year, a rise of nearly 5% on the same period last year. Net profit at the group rose 17% to EUR 91.2m.

Krka chairman and CEO Joze Colaric told a press conference in Novo mesto on Thursday that the company was well on track to surpassing EUR 1bn in sales this year, as anticipated in plans. He labelled operations at the company successful.

The parent company Krka generated sales of EUR 477.5m, a 13% increase, and made a net profit of EUR 98.6m, up 19%, in the first six months of the year.

The group generated nine-tenths of its revenues outside of Slovenia. Domestic sales amounted to EUR 50.8m and were down by 4%. Colaric said this was due to a drop in revenues at the spa division Terme Krka.

Central Europe was the group's top market, generating sales of EUR 155.6m, a rise of 14%. In eastern Europe, the group sold EUR 119.7m worth of products, a rise of 2%.

The group's biggest single market was Russia, where sales amounted to EUR 88.2m, an increase of 2%.

Western Europe and overseas markets generated sales of EUR 105.1m, while sales in SE Europe were up 8% to EUR 68.7m.

Colaric explained that the group stepped up investments after an uncertain 2009, earmarking EUR 44.5m for this purpose in the first half of the year. Around 70% of this was invested at home.

Krka launched a new facility for syrup and biocide production in Brsljin near Novo mesto in late April and is in the midst of building a new facility for the production of tablets at its complex in Locna. The EUR 91m facility is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2011.

Also expected to be launched then is a new state-of-the-art EUR 22m development and control centre.

Meanwhile, the company plans to upgrade its logistics centre in Russia and build a new solid medicine facility there that will be due for opening in early 2013.

Colaric said that Krka increased its workforce by 5% in the first half of the year, bringing the total number of employees to 8,300, of which half work in Slovenia.

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