SINGAPORE (Apr 27): Tianjin Zhongxin Pharmaceutical Group announced earnings of RMB173.4 million ($36.3 million) for the first quarter ended March, up 30% from its 1Q17 earnings of $133.8 million a year ago on improved gross profit margins.

Revenue for the quarter grew 9% to RMB1.6 billion compared to RMB1.5 billion a year ago.

Cost of sales fell 1% to RMB914 million from RMB926.1 million in 1Q17, while marketing & distribution costs grew 30% to RMB497 million due to an increase in sales promotion expenses.

The gross profit margin grew to 43.41% from 37.5% a year ago.

As at end-Mar, cash and cash equivalents stood at RMB 1.2 billion, 20% higher than that of end-Dec 2017.

In its outlook, the group says its development has entered a critical phase with both opportunities and challenges as it continues towards its mission of developing traditional Chinese medicine, while achieving the company’s strategy through good work and innovation in a progressive manner.

Shares in Tianjin Zhongxin closed 2.54% higher at US$1.01 on Friday.