Celesio First-Quarter Profit Up 5% on Rise in Revenue

Celesio AG (CLS1), Europe’s largest drug wholesaler, said preliminary first-quarter profit rose about 5 percent as sales improved.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding one-time effects from a cost-saving program, climbed to about 140 million euros ($182 million) from 133 million euros a year earlier, the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said in a statement. Revenue increased about 2.5 percent to 5.64 billion euros.

The company, which is selling its DocMorris mail-order pharmacy business, reported a non-cash impairment charge of 45 million euros from the revaluation of the Pharmexx sales and marketing support unit that it’s also seeking to offload.

The sales are part of an overhaul by Chief Executive Officer Markus Pinger, who took over in August. He is trying to return the company to growth by cutting costs and refocusing strategy. Celesio today reiterated it expects both Ebitda and earnings before interest and taxes to be similar to 2011.

Ebit, excluding effects from the cost-saving program, was around 107 million euros in the first quarter, compared with 103 million euros a year earlier. The company, which is 54.6 percent owned by Franz Haniel & Cie GmbH according to data compiled by Bloomberg, is due to report full results for the three months to the end of March on May 14.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Webb in Frankfurt at awebb25@bloomberg.net

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

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