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Celesio Gains Most in Five Months; Profit Beats Forecast

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March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Celesio AG gained the most in nine months in Frankfurt trading after the German drug wholesaler’s 2012 profit rose more than forecast.

Celesio climbed 4 percent to close at 14.50 euros, giving the company a market value of 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion). The gain was the biggest since June 29.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization excluding some costs climbed 4.5 percent last year to 579.6 million euros, the company said in a statement today. Celesio had predicted that profit would at least match the 2011 level.

“Our most important short-term goal was the stabilization of our business in 2012,” Chief Executive Officer Markus Pinger said at a news conference in Stuttgart, where the company is based.

Adjusted Ebitda this year will be 580 million euros to 610 million euros, the company said. The average of 12 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg is 606.4 million euros.

“We expect the current year to continue to be difficult,” Pinger said. “We expect more austerity measures in several European countries. We see a massive price war in Germany that is putting pressure on the whole segment.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Eva von Schaper in Munich at evonschaper@bloomberg.net

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

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