Allergan Nets $24.6 Million in Second Quarter, Up Nearly 8% : Earnings: Six-month profit also up. Company blames slight 2nd-quarter sales dip on unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

Allergan Inc., maker of health-care products, said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit rose nearly 8%.

Earnings were $24.6 million, or 37 cents a share, up from $22.8 million, or 34 cents a share, for the same period last year. Sales dropped slightly to $218.8 million from $220.7 million. The company blamed that decline on unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

For the first half, profit increased to $48.3 million, or 72 cents a share, from $40.5 million, 60 cents a share. Six-month sales were $431.8 million, up slightly from $430.8 million.

The company said it cut overhead by nearly $5 million during the quarter.

"We remain committed to controlling our operating expenses and increasing our investment in new technology," said President and Chief Executive William C. Shepherd.

The company said its U.S. launch of an eye treatment called Acular for conjunctivitis during the latest quarter "exceeded expectations."

Worldwide sales of the glaucoma treatments Betagan and Propine continued to grow.

Sales of contact lens disinfectant grew slightly worldwide, to $80.3 million.

But sales of Allergan Herbert skin-care products dropped $2.6 million during the quarter, the company said, because of competition.

The company, based in Irvine, is a leading maker of eye-care products and has been branching out recently into related businesses.

Allergan Reports Earnings

For the second quarter, Irvine's Allergan Inc. reported sales of $218.8 million, a decrease of less than 1% from the second quarter of 1992. Profit for the quarter was $24.6 million, an 8% increase over the same period in 1992. In millions

2nd qtr 2nd qtr 6 months 6 months 1992 1993 1992 1993 Revenue* $220.7 $218.8 $430.8 $431.8 Net income 22.8 24.6 40.5 48.3 Per share 0.34 0.37 0.60 0.72

* Affected by unfavorable foreign exchange rates and the sale of Americas contact lens subsidiary sold in November, 1992. Source: Allergan; Researched by JANICE L. JONES / Los Angeles Times

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