Sales came in at $4.8 billion, an increase of 46 per cent on 2003, although net income was considerably lower at $332m, down from $691m in 2003.
However, Teva maintains that if charges relating to the acquisition of Sicor and a $100m settlement agreement with GlaxoSmithKline in 2003 are left out, net income rose 56 per cent to $965m, which 'represents a better indicator of the underlying trends in the company's operations'.
"Less than half of the quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year net sales growth was attributable to the Sicor acquisition," said Teva. For the fourth quarter alone, revenues rose to $1.32bn from $942m a year before, while Teva posted net profit up 50 per cent to $279m, or 41 cents per share, ahead of analysts' estimates of 39 cents per share.
The API business had a good year, as sales internally to Teva's generic businesses insulated it from the tough and competitive operating environment affecting the broader API sector.
API sales to third parties were $114 million in the fourth quarter of 2004, an increase of 19 per cent over the comparable quarter of 2003. API sales, including internal sales to Teva's pharmaceutical businesses, totaled $246 million, an increase of 57% from the fourth quarter of 2003. The growth in European sales of the generic epilepsy drug gabapentin was the main reason for the higher growth of internal sales, according to the company.
US pharmaceutical sales reached $769m in the fourth quarter, up 41 per cent, out of total pharma sales of $1.2bn. Drivers of growth were 30 new Teva products, the inclusion of Sicor sales, and rising revenues from Teva's branded ultiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), up 26 per cent to $261m in the fourth quarter.
European sales were up 49 per cent to $319m, helped by the launch of new products in several European countries, mainly gabapentin and the cholesterol-lowering drug pravastatin, which use Teva's APIs, and the blood pressure agent ramipril, as well as higher Copaxone sales.