Brazil's Hypermarcas sees steady end to 'erratic' 2013


SAO PAULO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Hypermarcas SA,Brazil's biggest maker of generic drugs and hygiene products,expects sales growth to stabilize at the end of a bumpy 2013,its chief executive officer said on Monday.

Despite sharp swings in midyear demand, net revenue in thefirst nine months of 2013 increased about 10 percent from a yearearlier, and CEO Claudio Bergamo told analysts he expectedgrowth to finish the year around that pace.

"We had a very erratic year for demand," Bergamo said on aconference call on third-quarter earnings. "Some months it wasgood; other months, not so good."

Still, he said he did not expect much of a change from theoverall 10 percent rate.

Shares of Hypermarcas rose 1.5 percent in Sao Paulo trading,nearing a 30-month high.

Retailers and consumer goods makers in Brazil have faced aroller coaster this year as high inflation and widespreadpolitical protests prompted consumers to change their shoppinghabits, even as a robust job market has supported theirpurchasing power.

On Saturday, Hypermarcas' third-quarter earnings beatanalysts' estimates after revenue rose faster than expenses. Netrevenue was up 12 percent on an annual basis because of productintroductions and marketing campaigns that will continue incoming quarters, Bergamo said.

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