Aug 22 (Reuters) - Russian health and beauty products retailer Pharmacy Chain 36.6 reported a ten-fold jump in its first-half net profit, helped by gains from divestitures.
* Net profit for the first six months jumped to 345 million roubles ($5.84 million) from 33 million roubles a year earlier.
* Its first-half gross profit rose by 20 percent to 7.6 billion roubles.
* The chain reported a 786 million rouble profit from divesting its subsidiaries in the first half of the year, compared with 29 million roubles in 2016.
* The company said it had sold four subsidiaries in January, with a spokesman adding that they were bought by an international investor, declining to give additional details.
* “It is not only a matter of divestments (..) other factors influenced profit growth: gross margin rose, the salary fund decreased (though this is not so obvious when compared with last year, since A5 was not taken into account a year ago), but we are constantly optimizing,” the company’s press representative told Reuters.
* Pharmacy Chain 36.6 completed the merger with A5 last December.
* Walgreens Boots Alliance is the company’s second biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake, which it took last year in exchange for its local wholesale business ($1 = 59.0475 roubles) (Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka in Gdynia, editing by Louise Heavens)