Biocon Q1 Net Slumps 9% To Rs 70 Crore

For the three month period ended June 2011, Biocon’s consolidated net profit declined around 9% to Rs 70.05 crore as compared to the same period of last year.

The company’s net sales remained up by more than 10% to Rs 441.68 crore.

The earnings disappointed the street leading to more than 4% slump in the biotechnology firm’s shares during the early trade.

At 10:30 hrs, Biocon scrip remained down by 2.8% to rule at Rs 360.15 on NSE.

The company stated that the outcomes for the year-ago quarter comprised Rs 11.52 crore in profit from performances of AxiCorp gmbh that has since been sold.

During the month of April, Biocon SA had decided to sell its 70% equity stake in the German drug distribution arm.

Exclusive of the discontinued functioning, Biocon’s net profit surged 7.4% during the quarter under review.

Consolidated operating profit margin stayed flat at 27.5% year-on-year.

Biocon stated that there was a “healthy” augmentation in profit from its core manufacturing and services businesses, but there was lower licensing income recognition during Apr-June period.

Murali Krishnan, president, group finance stated, “Licensing income from our partnered programmes will see a high degree of variability given the inherent nature of licensing recognition that is linked to development and regulatory timelines.”

The company added that the licensing revenue is likely to strengthen during the coming quarters.

During April-June period, while income from Biocon’s biopharma biz surged 8% y-o-y, domestic branded formulations biz augmented 28%.

Alstom Projects Short Term Buy Call

Technical analyst Shrikant Chouhan of Kotak Securities has maintained ‘buy’ rating Alstom Projects Limited stock with short-term targets of Rs 600 and 610.

The analyst added that the interested investors can sell the stock with a stop loss of Rs 560.

Today, the stock of the company opened at Rs 581.70 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The share price has seen a 52-week high of Rs 874.85 and a low of Rs 510 on BSE.

Current EPS & P/E ratio stood at 25.19 and 22.98 respectively.

Alstom Projects India Ltd has pocketed three major deals valued at more than Rs 270 crore to set up hydroelectric projects in India.

The primary agreement has been inked with Shiga Energy Pvt Ltd for the 97 MW Tashiding hydroelectric project in West Sikkim region on the Rathang Chu river.

The second agreement has been inked with NSL Tidong Power Generation Pvt Ltd.

The third order has been inked with Haridwar Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.

All instruments will be fabricated at Alstom’s Vadodara plant in the state of Gujarat, one of the company’s biggest hydro equipment manufacturing centers internationally.

Alstom projects that the country has an economically exploitable and viable hydro prospective of around 84,000 MW.

Administration Lowers FY’12 GDP Growth Estimation To 8.6% From 9%

Amid a likely moderateness in industrial productivity, the administration turned down its GDP growth estimation for the existing financial year to 8.6% from the previous projection of around 9%.

The Finmin stated, “Growth is estimated to be marginally higher at 8.6 per cent this year over 2010-11 levels of 8.5 per cent.”

The finance ministry also said that as first quarter escalation figures for the existing financial year are still to be issued, the viewpoint for 2011-12 has to be inferred from movements of precedent facts, plus higher frequency proxy financial indicants.

While twelve-monthly indicators of real gross domestic product growth stayed optimistic in the existing financial year, there was a “perceptible slump” in terms of quarterly development rates during the past two quarters.

The financial system increased just 8.3% during the third quarterly period in 2010-11 and 7.8% during the January-March period, the lowest during the last five quarters.

“This apparent slowdown in headline year-on-year growth rates on a quarterly basis, plus of movement in other higher frequency indicators… and slowing automobile sales, suggested that growth outlook for 2011-12 may be lower,” it added.

While the Economic study had estimated GDP growth in 2011-12 at 9%, the central banking institution later lowered it to 8%.

The country’s economic system is approximated to have elaborated by 8.5% during the past financial.

The bureau stated that there is a slump in business investment and their earnings have been affected owing to cost appreciation of input items and raw material.

“Industry will probably slow, given trends in high frequency proxy indicators like Purchase Managers Index ( PMI )) and Index of Industrial Production ( IIP )) for the current fiscal (up to June, 2011)…,” it said.

But, it thought that the industrial slump may reverse once the base effect diminishes.

The industrial output growth rate declined to a 9-month low of 5.6% in the month of May because of a deprived presentation by the manufacturing and mining segments and lower offtake of capital goods.

According to the ministry, the agricultural expansion rate may moderate to 3-4% in 2011-12 as against 5% in 2010-11.

NICE Proposes to Disapprove the Use of the Drug Lucentis

The NHS had disapproved to provide financial support to a drug named Lucentis, used in treating diabetic macular oedema (DMO). As per a new direction issued by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the drug undervalued the cost of the laser treatment.

To this, Novartis, the producer of the drug was very disappointed and opposed to the decision of NICE. Novartis reveals that the reason of its underrating the laser treatment is that, the treatment only guaranteed prevention of further vision loss, but the drug assured improving the vision in every four out of ten cases.

Even the experiment made on the drug confirmed that the drug is capable of improving the eyesight by reducing the chances of loosing vision by 3%. As per Novartis, “Individuals with visual impairment due to DMO could greatly benefit from ranibizumab, a treatment which can potentially restore vision rapidly, often within a week of receiving the first dose, prevent vision loss and sustain visual improvement”.

Whereas, NICE believed that the company manufacturing the drug undervalued the quantity of the drug that the patient will require in the future. However, Lucentis was approved by the European regulators in January for DMO and is already the standard of treatment for wet aged-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Scientists Discover New Environment for Faster Growth of Stem Cells

Scientists have revealed that they have developed a new and a better way for growing stem cells. The scientists have found a new plastic surface, which would overcome the problems that were related to growing of stem cells. The standard surfaces have proved that the growth of stem cells is limited.

This new discovery was conducted by Glasgow and Southampton Universities. They have reported that this discovery of new surface would help them to create stem cell therapies for re-growing bones and tissues in the body.

In this study, the new plastic surface was created by a manufacturing process, which is similar as that of making Blu-ray discs. This surface is covered with tiny pits that have helped in the growth of stem cells. Due to these tiny pits, the stem cells can grow and spread into useful cells for therapies.

This research was performed by Dr. Matthew Dalby, from the University of Glasgow with colleague Dr. Nikolaj Gadegaard and Prof. Richard Oreffo of the University of Southampton.

“This new nano-structured surface can be used to very effectively culture mesencyhmal stem cells, taken from sources such as bone marrow, which can then be put to use in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic and connective tissues, ” says Dr. Matthew Dalby.

SA’s PPC Mill Expects ‘To Lift Capacity By 30%’

It seems that after lingering for long after 2009 recession, the Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) is all set on its mission to recovery. Backed by its newly upgraded technology, the Company is expecting to extend its cement production capacity by a staggering 30%. Of lately, the Company had faced tough time when the local demand could not be met while the international demand was growing.

The SA’s biggest cement maker will churn out and sell premium products in its new R699m largest manufacturing facility in Pretoria. The mill was commissioned last year.

Confirming the news, Kevin Odendaal, the company’s investor relations and Strategy Manager, said, “It (the new technology) is extremely efficient on electricity, up to 30% more efficient, which is especially relevant, considering that the plant will run at high volumes”.

The Company had been quite disappointed with the loss it incurred as 5% of the market went in imports and further, it is concerned about subsidized imported cement.

Meanwhile, the Company is planning to expand its wings elsewhere in Africa in order to compensate for the loss it incurred during poor sales at home. Moving further, the Company is considering refurnishing other plants within three to five years.

WHO Assures to Double Vaccine Production By 2015

It seems that the haunting memories of the last H1N1 pandemic in 2009-2010 forced the WHO to take anticipated steps to escalate stock of vaccines in poor countries this time.

Even an independent review panel earlier this year had claimed that the WHO remains mismanaged when it comes to dealing with major pandemic.

Triggered by such allegations, the WHO announced that by 2015, the global production of seasonal flu vaccine is expected to double to 1.7 billion doses, lest there is no halt in the production in 11 new manufacturers under this project.

The United Nations agency claimed, “If a new influenza pandemic erupts, the world’s projected 37 vaccine makers could potentially triple their annual production of trivalent seasonal vaccine to make 5.4 billion doses of pandemic vaccine”.

WHO Assistant Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny told that this time the WHO has made sure that even if they are faced with any massive pandemic, not only the vaccine stock is adequate but the manufacturing sites are widely distributed to cater to the need of nations across the world.

It’s believed that influenza vaccine needs to be treated as a fair means of combating influenza pandemic instead of churning profit out of it.

Woodland Plans To Make Investment Of Rs 100 Cr To Set Up Facility, New Stores

Footwear and apparel giant Woodland announced that it will make an investment of more than Rs 100 crore during the existing financial year to establish a new manufacturing unit at Greater Noida and open 60 more exclusive stores in the country.

Woodland Managing Director Harkirat Singh stated, “We are commissioning a new unit for denim and woven garments at Greater Noida with an investment of about Rs 60-70 crore. The production is likely to start in the next 3-4 months.”

Mr. Singh added that the company will also establish 60 new exclusive Woodland stores crosswise the country, with concentration on Tier II and Tier III cities, involving an investment of around Rs 40 crore.

At present, Woodland runs more than 300 exclusive outlets and also sells its products at more than 400 multi-brand stores.

“Almost 50% of the new stores planned would be large format spread across 10,000-12,000 square feet,” Mr. Singh added.

At present, the company possesses or functions 10 manufacturing facilities in North India for outdoor shoes.

The company outsources production of fashion footwear array to Vietnam and China.

For the existing fiscal year, the company anticipates 30% expansion to touch hit revenue of Rs 800 crore.

Mr. Singh also said that in addition to flourishing the physical retail footprint, the company is betting big on online retail.

“In the next two years, we expect our online sales to contribute 10% to our total turnover,” he said.