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Stada Sees $132.2 Million Writedown on Unpaid Serbian Bills

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Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Stada Arzneimittel AG will have a one-time charge of about 97 million euros ($132.32 million) in the third quarter because of unpaid bills from Serbian drug wholesalers. The shares fell the most in more than three years.

Money owed to Stada’s Hemofarm subsidiary in Serbia is “potentially, to a significant extent, not recoverable,” the Bad Vilbel, Germany-based drugmaker said in a statement today.

Today was at least the second time in a year that Stada took a writedown for receivables in Serbia, a market in which it bought Hemofarm Koncern AD for 480 million euros in 2006. Today’s charge is likely to reduce third-quarter earnings by about 85 million euros after tax, Stada said. The company said the impairments and depreciation won’t affect its cash on hand.

Stada said it and Hemofarm are in talks with “all local market participants” and the Serbian state.

The shares fell 3.50 euros, or 15 percent, to 19.75 euros at 2:45 p.m. in Frankfurt trading. The stock declined as much as 17 percent, the biggest intraday drop since July 28, 2008.

Stada left unchanged its target for a high single-digit percent increase this year in earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization, adjusted for one-time special effects. Sales will rise this year and next, Stada said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Kresge in Berlin at nkresge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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