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GlaxoSmithKline Pharma India posts higher Q4 adjusted profit on strong sales

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Pharma India reported a 49% rise in fourth-quarter adjusted profit on Friday, as strong demand for its generic medicines offset the impact of the government's ongoing price curbs on its key drugs.

The company reported consolidated profit before exceptional items and taxes of 2.68 billion rupees ($32.1 million) for the quarter ended March 31, compared to 1.80 billion rupees a year earlier.

In the year-ago period, the Indian unit of UK's GSK had an exceptional charge of 104 million rupees which comprised restructuring and other costs.

The company's shares closed up 13.7% after the results.

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Revenue from operations rose 18% to 9.30 billion rupees, led by a 12% growth in its generic medicines portfolio which the company attributed to key focus brands Augmentin, Ceftum and Calpol.

Earnings at drugmakers like GlaxoSmithKline Pharma and Abbott India have been pressured as prices of some of their key drugs were capped under the Indian government's essential medicines list (NLEM) since September 2022.

However, "despite the NLEM impact in previous quarters, all promoted brands outpaced their respective categories in growth and gained market share," the company said in a statement.

Last week, rival Abbott India reported a higher fourth-quarter profit, led by strong sales.

($1 = 83.3825 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Kashish Tandon in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)