INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Simcere Pharmaceutical Group said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit fell 66 percent, as sales and research expenses squeezed the Chinese drugmaker's income.

Simcere said it earned 17.7 million yuan ($2.6 million), or 5 cents per American depository share, compared to 51.7 million yuan in the final quarter of 2008. But revenue grew 16 percent to 539.4 million yuan ($79 million).

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, earnings of 7 cents per American depository share on $73.9 million in revenue.

Simcere said research and development expenses of 50.1 million yuan ($7.3 million) were up 48 percent compared to the same quarter last year, as the drugmaker launched new projects and expanded research activities.

Sales, marketing and distribution expenses of 297 million yuan ($43.5 million) were up about 32 percent compared to 2008 due in part to a restructuring of the sales team for the cancer treatment Endu and promotional expenses for new drugs.

Revenue from the stroke management medication edaravone climbed nearly 10 percent to 211.7 million yuan ($31 million).

For the full year, Simcere earned 119.5 million yuan ($17.5 million), or 30 cents per American depository share, on 1,850 million yuan ($271 million) in revenue.