Profit before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was down by 8% to EUR 352.7 million, whereas pre-tax profit (EBIT) increased by 12% to EUR 271.3 million, shows the company's interim report released on Thursday.
Sales rose across all markets except Western Europe, where they declined by 13% due to fewer product launches and decreased use of medicines decreased due the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its key markets, in Central and Eastern Europe, sales rose by 4% and 5%, respectively. Sales in its largest single market, Russia, were flat in euro terms but rose by 14% in roubles.
Broken down by product category, sales of prescription drugs remained flat across the group, whereas sales of over-the-counter drugs rose by 8% and animal health products grew by 16%.
The group allocated EUR 45.3 million to investments in the first nine months of 2021, slightly less than in the same period last year, whereas overall R&D spending rose by 1% to EUR 113 million.
Chief executive Jože Colarič said the January-September figures were in accordance with expectations.
"We recorded the highest sales and net profit in the first nine months since incorporation. We maintained profitability at a high level and obtained marketing authorisations for 11 new products," he was quoted as saying.
The company's priorities priorities remain to ensure sales growth, achieve higher-than-average sales growth in terms of market dynamics, and place among the leading branded generic pharmaceutical companies on individual markets and in selected therapeutic classes, he said.