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New-Pharm Drugstores reported 2004 growth of 8 percent, netting NIS 9 million on NIS 525 million turnover. The earnings, though positive, failed to match the double digit growth of the past three years, which had ranged between 10 and 16 percent.

Fastest growth took place in its branches in Jumbo supermarkets, where sales rose 20 percent. Sales in its regular branches, which have operated at least one year, rose 4 percent.

New-Pharm currently operates 52 stores, 41 as New-Pharm branches and 11 in Jumbo supermarkets. Five new branches will open this year, including two more in Jumbo stores, at a cost of NIS 8-9 million, according to President and CEO Yaron Dor.

The company plans to open branches in Rishon Letzion and Rambam Hospital.

New-Pharm recently reported that it was going full throttle with a plan to expand operations in East Europe.

New-Pharm is fully owned by the Borovich Mozes-Rosen Group, which bought the company in 2001.