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Astellas Lifts Profit Forecast on Lower R&D Costs, Land Sale

Astellas Pharma Inc., Japan’s third-largest drugmaker, increased its full-year profit forecast by 4.9 percent because of lower research and development costs and a gain from the sale of land.

Net income will jump 26 percent to 85 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in the year ending March 2012. That’s instead of the 81 billion yen previously forecast, Tokyo-based Astellas said in a statement today. Profit in the six months ended Sept. 30 increased 17 percent, it said.

R&D costs may be 6 billion yen less than previously estimated, and sales and administrative costs may also be lower than predicted earlier, the company said. The company booked a 10 billion yen gain from a sale of land in Tokyo for the six months ended Sept. 30, it said.

Net income rose to 51.3 billion yen in the fiscal first half, or 111 yen a share, from 43.9 billion yen, or 95 yen, a year earlier, Astellas said. It reported preliminary earnings on Oct. 28.

Astellas fell 1 percent to 2,858 yen as of the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo trading, while Japan’s benchmark Topix index declined 1.3 percent.

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