US drug agency helps Medeva

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The Independent Online
THE United States Drug Enforcement Agency has given a helping hand to Medeva, the acquisitive pharmaceuticals group.

The company yesterday reported a surge in taxable profits from pounds 4m to pounds 14m for the half- year to 30 June on sales up from pounds 32m to pounds 58m.

Part of profits growth stemmed from a doubling of production quotas for one of Medeva's drugs used in curbing hyperactivity in children. Production of the drug, methylphenidate, is controlled by the DEA as it can be misused by adults as a stimulant. Medeva persuaded the DEA, which combats narcotics production and trafficking, to raise the limit, boosting underlying sales from the group's US operation by 80 per cent. Even so, most profits growth came from acquisitions.

However, Evan-Kerfoot, Medeva's generic products business, incurred a loss due to price cuts demanded by the Government. The company is by cutting jobs to improve its performance but will incur a pounds 1.5m restructuring charge in the second half.

Earnings doubled to 4.77p and the interim dividend is up from 0.5p to 0.75p.