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Sunday, Jun 15, 2003

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Fulford (India) hopes to resume operations soon

C.R. Sukumar


FULFORD (India) Ltd, the Indian affiliate of the US pharmaceutical major Schering-Plough Corporation, which had suffered a serious setback in terms of suspension of production of tablets and injectable ampoules on account of contamination of products with micro organisms and disruption of raw material supplies, now hopes to resume Indian operations shortly.

Owing to contamination, large inventory of tablets amounting to Rs 2.51 crore was rejected during the last accounting year ended December 31, 2002.

The disruption in supplies of raw materials and finished products has also led to the Mumbai-based pharma company incurring loss of sales and resultant profit contribution.

During last year, the gross sales of the company decreased to Rs 94.7 crore from Rs 140.41 crore in the previous year, suffering a fall of 33 per cent. The company incurred a loss before tax of Rs 7.59 crore as against a profit of Rs 1.46 crore in the previous year and a net loss of Rs 7.6 crore compared to a net profit of Rs 1.33 crore.

After adjusting a brought forward profit of Rs 1.34 crore, the company has transferred a balance loss of Rs 6.26 crore to the balance sheet.

In a communication to shareholders, the Fulford India Chairman, Mr R.A. Shah, said, "Manufacturing facilities to resume manufacture of tablets and injectable ampoules have been identified. The production is expected to start in the second quarter after completion of all validations."

He informed the shareholders that the company would continue to focus on oncology, virology and cardiovascular areas. However, the company is quite wary of launching competitive brands in the country. According to him, "The launch of competitive brands at significantly low cost results in lower sales at least for a temporary period till the time the users do not experience the same efficacy or safety."

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Fulford (India) hopes to resume operations soon

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