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Merck 3Q net profit 200.1 million euros

Merck 3Q net profit 200.1 million euros

Drug maker Merck KGaA said Monday its third-quarter profit rose on strong sales of key products such as its Rebif treatment for multiple sclerosis and cancer drug Erbitux. It confirmed its 2008 sales forecast.
Darmstadt-based Merck said net profit for the July through September period amounted to 200.1 million euros ($252.7 million) _ up from 36.2 million euros a year earlier.
Last year's third-quarter earnings were weighed down by costs related to Merck's purchase of Serono SA, a Swiss biotechnology company.
Sales for the quarter were 1.9 billion euros ($2.4 billion), compared with 1.7 billion in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of almost 9 percent.
Merck "continued to produce solid growth in the third quarter despite the current global financial turmoil and the negative impact of currency exchange rates," chief executive Karl Ludwig Kley said.
"We believe these good results affirm the soundness of our diversified business model."
Merck said it "expects to meet the full-year guidance announced in February," although it said it was narrowing the range of that forecast.
Merck said it now expects sales to grow by between 6 percent and 8 percent for the year. The company had originally forecast a sales increase of between 5 percent and 9 percent.
Merck said Serono's sales rose by 14 percent to 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in the third quarter from 1 billion euros a year earlier.
Merck said its Rebif drug for treating multiple sclerosis was a big contributor, with sales increasing 10 percent to 338 million euros ($422.5 million). Sales grew both in Europe and the U.S.
Sales of the cancer treatment Erbitux grew by 13 percent to 134 million euros ($167.5 million), and those of Gonal-f, a hormone used to treat infertility, were up 11 percent.
Merck said sales of its Glucophage and Glucovence anti-diabetic products also were up 10 percent.
The company said its liquid crystal business's sales increased on a currency-neutral basis _ but adjusted for currency effects saw a 6 percent decline to 112 million euros ($140 million).
Liquid crystals are used for many applications in products from television and computer screens to thermometers and navigational equipment.
Merck shares were down 2.3 percent at 21 euros ($26.25) in morning Frankfurt trading.
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On the Net:
http://www.merck.de


Updated : 2021-04-15 05:06 GMT+08:00