December 14, 2007 / 1:00 PM / 10 years ago

Patheon narrows loss, to divest Carolina plant

TORONTO (Reuters) - Patheon Inc PTI.TO narrowed its fourth-quarter loss on Friday but said it would close its Carolina, Puerto Rico facility whose performance hurt the company’s results.

The contract drugmaker said it lost $9.1 million, or 10 cents a share for the quarter ended October 31, compared with a loss of $22.2 million, or 24 cents a share for the same time last year.

Revenue for the quarter was $166.8 million, up slightly from $165.8 million a year ago.

The company also said it expected to see lower first-quarter revenue due to normal shutdowns in December.

The company blamed generic competition and production problems at its Puerto Rican operations for the continued losses.

The company said it planned to divest the Carolina plant, which manufactures four drugs for six companies, while retaining its Caguas and Manati facilities. This followed a review of the operations earlier this year.

Patheon said it is likely that the purchaser will assume responsibility for the staff at the facility, and contracts with third parties. Patheon has retained an advisor to manage the sale of the Carolina site.

“With new management in place in Puerto Rico, Patheon plans to continue an extensive program to improve operating performance, improve quality and training systems, reduce overhead costs and pursue new business opportunities for these sites,” the company said in a release.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Ka Yan Ng

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