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Drugmaker Hikma expects profit to be slightly lower in 2024

(Reuters) - British drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals reported a bigger-than-expected profit for 2023 on Thursday, helped by a strong performance of its generics businesses, but expects profit to be slightly lower this year.

The company said its core operating profit jumped 19% to $707 million in the year ended on Dec. 31, higher than analysts' expectation of about $689 million, according to a company-compiled consensus.

Hikma expects a profit of $660 million to $700 million in 2024, compared with market expectations of about $680 million, according to a company-compiled consensus.

The company's generics business, which supplies oral and other non‑injectable generic and specialty products to the U.S. retail market, recorded an 86% rise in core operating profit.

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That was due to strong recovery and higher sales from the authorised generic of sodium oxybate.

The business's revenue is expected to grow in the range of 3% to 5% in 2024, with a core operating margin in the mid-teens percentage range.

Hikma expects total revenue growth in the range of 4% to 6% this year, compared with a growth of 14% last year.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)