September 17, 2018 / 6:04 PM / 6 months ago

France's Virbac sees higher margin as U.S profitability improves

Sept 17 (Reuters) - French veterinary pharmaceutical company Virbac said on Monday it was raising its full year operating margin forecast as a result of improved profitability in the United States and growth in emerging markets and Europe.

The company said it is targeting a rise in its operating margin for the full year of around 1 point at constant exchange rates, up from its previous guidance of around 0.5 points.

“(In the United States) we have higher volumes in the factory and we have reduced expenses,” Chief Financial Officer Habib Ramdani said on a teleconference call.

Ramdani also pointed to growth Europe, Brasil, India, Mexico and China as helping profitability.

First-half operating profit rose 10.9 percent to 45.2 million euros, helped in particular by the United States, where Virbac said the lowering of discounts had a positive effect.

However, first half net profit group share fell 11.9 percent to 12.3 million euros due to an impairment of deferred tax assets on American tax losses and restructuring costs in France.

The company continues to expect low single digit revenue growth for 2018. (Reporting by Alan Charlish in Gdynia Editing by Alexander Smith)

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