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Krka Sales Top One Billion Euro Mark for First Time Ever (adds)

Novo mesto, 20 January (STA) - Pharmaceutical company Krka generated EUR 1.01bn in sales revenues last year in an unprecedented figure that marks a 6% increase on the year before. The core company's revenues were up 10% to EUR 932m, with the estimated net profit of EUR 165m. The group's net profit is projected to have been somewhat higher.

The results were presented at Thursday's press conference at the Krka headquarters by chairman Joze Colaric, who said that the plans were not only met, but also trumped.

Foreign markets accounted for 90% of overall revenue. Krka's biggest market is Central Europe, where sales rose by a tenth to EUR 293.7m, with Poland alone accounting for EUR 130.3m in revenue.

Eastern Europe accounts for just over a quarter of overall sales and saw growth of 17%. Russia is the single biggest market, generating EUR 191.7m in sales, up 13% year-on-year.

The company also saw growth in Southeast Europe (+7%), while revenue in Slovenia dropped by 1% and in Western Europe and overseas markets it was down 7%.

Colaric was upbeat about the prospects for growth, saying that the golden era of generic drugs would last for many more years as many drugs will go off-patent in the coming years.

He also downplayed the possibility that Krka might face a takeover bid.

The company bought EUR 2m-worth of treasury shares and raised the holding of treasury shares to 5% of the share capital, but Colaric said the share buyback had nothing to do with defence against a takeover.

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