India's MedPlus Health posts over 25% rise in Q4 profit on strong retail sales

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's MedPlus Health Services reported a rise in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, driven by retail sales.

MedPlus, which sells online and in retail stores, said consolidated net profit climbed 25.6% year-on-year to 333.96 million rupees ($4 million) for the three months to March 31.

Analysts expect the retail pharmaceutical sector to see strong growth in the near term and an increasing market share for organised players such as MedPlus. Store network expansion and an uptick in branded prescription medicines are expected to boost sales further.

New drug launches and improving medical infrastructure have also improved access to these medicines, driving sales of retail pharmacies.

MedPlus said revenue from operations rose nearly 19% to 14.90 billion rupees.

Revenue from its retail business, which constituted 98% of its net sales, jumped more than 18%, while revenue from its diagnostics business surged 94.6%.

Expenses rose 17.6%, mainly due to higher procurement costs of medicines it sells.

MedPlus competes with Reliance-owned Netmeds and Apollo Pharmacies among other retail pharmacies in the Indian OTC drugs market.

Shares of MedPlus closed 1.6% lower ahead of the result.

($1 = 83.1700 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Kashish Tandon and Varun Hebbalalu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami)