Nectar Lifesciences, a Rs 735 crore Punjab based pharma giant, has suffered a set back during the third quarter ended December 2008 on account of lower sales and higher operating costs.

The company's net sales declined by 22.4 per cent to Rs 134.31 crore from Rs 173.07 crore in the same period of last year. This drop in sales put pressure on bottom line, which declined sharply by 68.6 per cent to Rs 5.65 crore from Rs 17.98 crore. It has not provided for loss or gain from the foreign exchange in these un-audited results. The earning per share also nosedived to Rs 0.37 from Rs 1.21. The company sub-divided equity shares from Rs 10 to Rs 1.

For the nine months period ended December 2008, Nectar's net sales increased by 5.5 per cent to Rs 555.68 crore from Rs 526.60 crore in the corresponding period of last year. Its net profit, however, declined by 3.9 per cent to Rs 56.96 crore from Rs 59.27 crore. Its employees cost gone up by 46.7 per cent to Rs 21.19 crore from RS 14.44 crore and its interest burden went up by 27.5 per cent to Rs 33.52 crore from Rs 26.29 crore.