* Adj earnings 23 Canadian cts/shr vs 19 cts yr earlier
* Generics unit sales rise 14 percent
* Same-store sales up 2.6 percent
(Adds background on Shoppers, analysts' expectations.)
Oct 10 (Reuters) - Canadian pharmacy chain Jean Coutu GroupInc reported a rise in adjusted quarterly earnings onWednesday, as its generic drug manufacturing subsidiary Pro Docposted a double-digit gain in sales and operating income.
Prescription sales growth at Longueuil, Quebec-based JeanCoutu and rivals such as Shoppers Drug Mart Corp havebeen hurt in recent years by a provincial crackdown on genericdrug prices and reimbursement rules. But Jean Coutu has said ProDoc should help boost margins over the long term.
Pro Doc's sales rose 14.0 percent to C$38.3 million (US$39.2million) for the second quarter ended Sept. 1, and itscontribution to operating income before amortization rose 25.2percent to C$15.4 million.
Shoppers' Sanis generics business has been held back byregulations in Ontario, its biggest market, that ban the sale ofprivate label generics. Shoppers has been granted leave tochallenge the ban before Canada's top court.
Excluding a gain related to Jean Coutu's stake in U.S.drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp and other items, earningsrose to C$50.0 million, or 23 Canadian cents a share, comparedwith C$44.6 million, or 19 Canadian cents, a year earlier.
On an unadjusted basis, net profit fell to C$51.2 million(US$52.3 million), or 23 Canadian cents a share, from C$66.4million, or 29 Canadian cents.
Revenue rose to C$658.7 million from C$635.2 million. Salesat established stores, a key measure for retailers, increased2.6 percent.
Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 22 Canadian centsa share on revenue of C$653.7 million.
($1 = $0.98 Canadian)
(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Leslie Adler andJeffrey Benkoe)
Keywords: JEANCOUTU RESULTS/