Contract drug maker Patheon aims to sell Puerto Rico plant

Contract drug manufacturer Patheon Inc. has swallowed a bitter pill, deciding to sell a hemorrhaging Puerto Rican plant even though the company as a whole has reported a healthier final quarter.

Patheon, which is headquartered in Toronto but reports in U.S. currency, lost $7.5 million, or eight cents per share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31, the drug maker said yesterday.
This compared with a year-earlier loss of $22.4 million, or 24 cents, including heavy restructuring costs at the Puerto Rican operations.

Quarterly revenue edged up 0.6 per cent, to $166.8 million from $165.8 million.
Manufacturing problems and other woes in Puerto Rico have been ravaging Patheon's results since the company acquired the operations in the $350 million takeover of Mova Pharmaceutical Corp. in late 2004.

Patheon serves 250 drug and biotechnology client companies from 14 plants employing 5,100 people in the United States, Canada and Europe.
The company said revenue was down $19 million in Puerto Rico and slipped slightly in the Canadian prescription-drug segment.

Outgoing chief executive Riccardo Trecroce also blamed losses in part on "significantly lower revenues" for the Abbott Laboratories antibiotic Omnicef due to generic competition.
Among many other changes, Patheon is shifting operations from its York Mills facility in Toronto to Whitby.

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