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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 10.3 billion-euro 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.
The company said its pretax profit rose to 275 million euros ($344 million) in the third quarter from last year's 14 million euros _ a figure that also was affected by the Serono purchase.
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.
Serono sales growth should be in the range of 8 percent to 10 percent. Merck originally forecast growth between 7 percent and 11 percent.
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.
Sales at Merck's liquid crystal business were flat at 239 million euros ($299 million) _ hampered by currency effects. The division's operating profit declined by 6 percent to 112 million euros ($140 million).
The company said it would hit the lower end of its full-year forecast for liquid crystal sales _ forecasting growth between 5 percent and 6 percent, compared with the original range of between 5 percent and 10 percent. Liquid crystals are used for many applications in products from television and computer screens to thermometers and navigational equipment.
Merck shares were down 10 percent at 58.28 euros ($71.68) in a broadly lower Frankfurt market.
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On the Net:
http://www.merck.de


Updated : 2021-05-09 04:50 GMT+08:00