Listing candidate Lijun International Pharmaceutical posted a 15.6 per cent decline in net profit in the six months to June on slower sales of its core antibiotics product Lijunsha. The mainland pharmaceutical manufacturer's interim profit decreased to 37.55 million yuan from 44.49 million yuan in the first half of the year. Gross profit margin narrowed to 49.5 per cent from 52.4 per cent, according to the listing documents. Sales of Lijunsha, which accounted for 46.95 per cent of the company's sales, fell 22.48 per cent in the first half. Chief executive Wang Xian-jun said the first-half decline was due to government regulations requiring prescriptions for sales of antibiotics. Last year's rule change affected all antibiotics manufacturers in China, but Mr Wang said Lijun had been relatively less affected than its peers because it had started to promote its antibiotics to doctors and hospitals before the government notice was issued. The retail tranche of Lijun's share offer will open today and close on Wednesday. Trading of its shares is expected to begin on December 20. The company will raise up to $154 million from the float and use 69.42 per cent of the net proceeds to set up three production lines for new types of finished medicines and health-care products. Lijun is offering 70 million new shares at between $1.98 and $2.20 each. The listing had been planned for last month but the float was delayed after the firm and its bookrunner, Guotai Junan Securities, were unhappy about the response to its institutional offer in October.