Cipla Ltd, India`s fourth-largest drugmaker by sales, reported a 20 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating analysts` estimates, as higher sales in Europe and South Africa offset weakness in its key domestic market.

Revenue from South Africa, Cipla`s third largest market, rose 21 percent to 4.88 billion rupees ($76.03 million) compared with last year while Europe revenues climbed 33 percent to 1.58 billion rupees.

India revenues fell 13 percent to 12.71 billion rupees, impacted by a nationwide tax reform. Cipla`s Chief Executive Umang Vohra said on Friday the company is working on building its India business through new drugs for diabetes and chronic diseases.

It`s also working on improving its presence in North America, a market where copycat drugmakers` growth has been hit due to pressure on drug prices. Cipla`s North America sales fell 2 percent in the quarter, but Vohra said the company was “on target to ramp-up our launch trajectory in the U.S.”

First-quarter net profit rose to 4.08 billion rupees from 3.39 billion a year earlier, the company said.

Analysts were on average expecting a profit of 3 billion rupees in the first quarter, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Cipla`s shares were down 2.4 percent after the results as of 0850 GMT in a broader Indian market that was 1.3 percent lower.


Cipla Ltd reports a 20 percent rise in quarterly profit