Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (API) said on Tuesday its second-half earnings would fall short of its previous forecast, but added it was on track for growth after posting a first-half loss.

The drugs maker and retailer said it would achieve earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITD) and before significant items of A$36.4 million ($31 million) for its second half ended April 30, below the A$39 million flagged in December.

The earnings are due to be released Thursday.

An expected A$8 million gain from selling some retail outlets had been delayed to the first quarter of the 2007/2008 year, the company said.

API is back on track, said API Chairman Peter Robinson in a statement. We are seeing the benefits of defining and focusing on our core businesses in increased sales.

In December, API posted what its chief executive called a terrible first-half net loss as it lost market share and costs rose. At the time it was assessing a takeover offer from Sigma Pharmaceuticals, which was later rejected.

API's shares were steady on Tuesday at A$2.33.