August 4, 2017 / 7:51 AM / a year ago

Pharma ingredients group Fagron reports 27 pct profit increase

BRUSSELS, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Pharmaceutical ingredients company Fagron said it was focusing on off-the-shelf products to boost its margins, especially in Brazil, after reporting a 27 percent increase in first-half profit.

The group said volumes of product sold in its South American business were higher in the first half of 2017, but revenues there declined 2.2 percent on a constant currency basis as lower raw material prices were passed on to customers.

A strategy of producing ready made products, such as alopecia treatment TrichoConcept, in addition to its ingredients business would help to sustain margins going forward, the company said.

“We have focused on brands and concepts in Brazil, because you are less vulnerable to competition if you do so,” Chief Executive Hans Stols told Reuters.

Stols said the company was also rolling out such products to southern Europe and was considering other regions.

The company said it was still weighing its options for medical equipment maker HL Technology, including selling it.

Fagron’s first-half net profit increased 27 percent to 21.05 million euros ($25.01 million).

Fagron’s shares were some 6 percent higher in early Friday trading. ($1 = 0.8417 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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