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Stada Full-Year Net Income Falls 68% on Unpaid Serbian Bills

Stada Arzneimittel AG, a German maker of generic drugs, said profit slipped 68 percent last year because of one-time charges related to unpaid bills in Serbia.

Net income retreated to 22 million euros ($29.3 million) from 68.4 million euros in 2010, the company, based in Bad Vilbel, Germany, said in a statement today. Adjusted net income climbed 10 percent to 146.6 million euros, it said. Adjusted earnings per share reached 2.49 euros, more than the 2.35-euro average of 18 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“Despite difficult framework conditions in individual national markets, particularly in Serbia and Germany, all operational key earnings figures are expected to have increased” in 2011, Stada said.

The German drug maker acquired Serbia’s Hemofarm Koncern AD for 480 million euros in 2006, as part of a push to shift manufacturing capacity as well as sales into eastern Europe. In November last year, the company announced a 96.9 million-euro writedown before taxes during the third quarter for unpaid bills from its Serbian business.

The company said today the “challenging framework conditions” will probably continue in some markets this year. Stada said it expects a “clear increase” in full-year sales, helped by acquisitions, including the purchase of a branded product portfolio from Gruenenthal GmbH over the past months.

The shares were little changed at 22.96 euros at the close in Frankfurt trading today. They had climbed as much 1.3 percent earlier in the session, after the announcement.

Stada proposed an unchanged dividend of 37 cents a share.

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