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Merck KGaA Beats in Q2 on Rebif Drug

14.08.2012 -

German drugmaker Merck KGaA beat forecasts for quarterly adjusted earnings and predicted faster growth in underlying core profit this year on higher pharmaceutical sales and a strong dollar.

Second-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 13.9% to €746.6 million ($922 million), above the €706 million expected by analysts on average.

Revenues from its Rebif multiple sclerosis drug and cancer drug Erbitux, its two best-selling drugs, rose more than expected and the euro's weakness boosted the value of overseas sales.

Sales of Rebif rose a currency-adjusted 9.6% to €492 million, 14% above analyst projections, on price increases in the United States.

Merck incurs most of its costs in euros while it exports heavily to North America and to Asian TV panel makers, who use Merck's liquid crystals for flat screens.

"The Liquid Crystals business unit expects continued strong volumes in this year's third quarter and a softening of sales in the fourth quarter," said Merck, which is the world's No. 1 supplier of these substances.

The group predicted adjusted EBITDA of €2.85-2.95 billion this year, where it had previously seen 2.8-2.9 billion. This compares with 2.73 billion last year and an average analyst projection for adjusted EBITDA of €2.88 billion this year.

At €60.5 million, the second-quarter net loss, however, was worse then expected, pulled down by €376 million in charges related to its cost-cutting programme.

 

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