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Hi-Tech Pharmacal reports lower earnings

Hi-Tech chief executive David Seltzer said the company

Hi-Tech chief executive David Seltzer said the company has surpassed $200 million in sales. Credit: Pablo Garcia Corradi, 2003

Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., an Amityville-based drugmaker, reported lower earnings for the last quarter despite solid revenue growth.

For the company's fourth quarter, which ended April 30, Hi-Tech earned 73 cents per share on overall profits of $10 million, a year-over-year drop of 21 percent from the same period last year, the company reported Tuesday.

The company's profit suffered due to higher-than-expected operating costs, said Tim Chiang, a pharmaceutical analyst with CRT Capital.

"They had more marketing costs associated with selling some of their branded products," he said. "Their profit margins were a little lower than we expected."

Sales revenue for Hi-Tech rose 7.2 percent to $61.3 million from the same period last year. A surge in sales of the generic version of Flonase, a nasal spray used to treat asthma and allergies, helped boost sales.

The drugmaker also reported growth in yearly sales and profit figures for its fiscal year ending April 30. Hi-Tech had sales revenue of $230 million last year and a profit of $48 million, both increases from the previous year.

"We surpassed $200 million in sales for the first time as we reported record sales for both the fourth quarter and year end," Hi-Tech chief executive David Seltzer said in a media release. "In addition, we are having success with the products we launched in the past fiscal year."

Hi-Tech Pharmacal employs about 400 people, including about 290 on Long Island. It also has a facility in Richmond, Va. In June, the company received a $500,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corp. to expand its Amityville facility in return for keeping the 290 jobs on Long Island and creating dozens of new ones.

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