Bloomberg News

Almirall Says Profit May Fall by ‘High Twenties’ Percentage

October 04, 2011

(Updates with details on earnings from second paragraph.)

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Almirall SA cut its 2011 earnings forecast, citing Spain’s ban on brand-name medicine prescriptions to lower costs as part of austerity measures.

Profit excluding one-time items may fall in the “high twenties” percentage range, while next year’s earnings may decline by a smaller amount, the Barcelona-based company said in a statement today.

Full-year sales will drop by about 10 percent in 2011, with similar declines next year unless there’s “unpredicted circumstances,” Almirall said. The company will provide more financial information about 2012 when it publishes third-quarter earnings Nov. 14, it said.

Almirall sank 20 cents, or 3.9 percent, to 4.87 euros at 9:30 a.m. in Madrid trading. The stock has lost 29 percent this year, valuing the company at 808.9 million euros ($1.07 billion).

Almirall previously predicted a percentage sales decline in the high single digits this year, and a percentage drop in profit in the mid teens.

Spain’s Cabinet approved measures to save 2.4 billion euros a year on pharmaceutical spending, banning doctors from prescribing brand-name drugs in an attempt to trim the budget deficit, the Health Ministry said Aug. 19.

Doctors will have to cite active pharmaceutical ingredients in prescriptions rather than branded medicines. The measures also include a 15 percent price reduction on drugs that are at least 10 years old for which there is no generic available, excluding drugs protected by patent in all the states of the European Union, the ministry said.

--Editors: Phil Serafino, Marthe Fourcade

To contact the reporter on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Madrid at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net


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