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UPDATE 1-Anaesthetics jab lifts Aspen Pharmacare's profit

(Adds detail, AstraZeneca deal)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 14 (Reuters) - South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare expanded its anaesthetic drugs portfolio with a $766 million deal with AstraZeneca after reporting a 46 percent jump in annual profit.

Aspen, a drugmaker with operations in 50 countries, has looked to anaesthetics to increase sales, building up its business in the past year with the commercial rights to AstraZeneca drugs and products from GlaxoSmithKline.

The company said profits were helped by a 7 billion rand ($532 million) revenue boost from its anaesthetics portfolio in the year to the end of June. Total revenue was up 16 percent to 41.2 billion rand.

The deal with AstraZeneca covers the U.S. rights to a portfolio of anaesthetics a year after Aspen bought the rights in other parts of the world.

The price comprises an upfront $555 million and performance related payments of up to $211 million, Aspen said.

"By acquiring the underlying intellectual property (Aspen) is best placed to maximise the value of this portfolio, including through the development of additional products and markets, leveraging the intellectual property that it will own," it said.

Aspen estimates the transaction will be complete during the final quarter of 2017.

The company also paid $370 million for GlaxoSmithKline's anaesthetics drugs in February.

The drugmaker posted headline earnings per share of 1,299.5 cents for the year to end-June, up from 889 cents a year earlier.

Headline earnings per share strips out certain one-off items and is the main profit measure in South Africa.

Profits were also supported by firmer sales in Aspen's home market during the second half of the year.

"In South Africa, a strong turnaround in the second half lifted the full year private sector performance by 9 percent, while the public sector edged up 1 percent to 1.5 billion rand," the company said.

Shares in Aspen were up 1.5 percent at 289.23 rand by 0750 GMT, compared with a 0.5 percent drop in the Johannesburg securities exchange's benchmark Top-40 index. ($1 = 13.1472 rand) (Reporting by TJ Strydom; editing by Jason Neely/Keith Weir)