Pfizer, Roche and GSK report 2009 results

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Glaxosmithkline, Pfizer, Influenza, Wyeth, Genentech

In a busy week of Big Phama results Pfizer reports sales boost from Wyeth, Roche says Genentech hit profits and GSK unveils surge in Relenza sales and plans to expand R&D restructuring.

Tale of Genentech and Tamiflu in 2009

Roche’s net profits for the year were down 22 per cent to CHF8.5bn (€5.7bn) due to the firm's acquisition of US biotech major Genentech in March.

The Swiss drugmaker said the deal, coupled with abandonment of Genentech’s project in Vacaville, California, closure of operations in Nutley, New Jersey and Palo Alto and consolidation of admin functions in San Francisco, had cost around CHF2.4bn.

Sales for 2009 were up, climbing 8 per cent to CHF49bn largely as a result of gains made by Roche’s influenza drug Tamiflu, revenue from which rose a massive 435 per cent to CHF3.2bn due to increase demand caused by the H1N1 pandemic.

However, for 2010, Roche predicted that the decline in Tamiflu sales will be equally dramatic. The firm forecast that revenue from the drug would be around CHF1.2bn, significantly below the 2008 level.

Pfizer's Q4 sales boost from Wyeth

In contrast, Pfizer 2009 performance was helped by its acquisition of Wyeth, The US drug firm posted net income for the year of $8.6bn, up 7 per cent on 2008, helped by a Q4 sales boost.

The firm explained that sales for the final three months of the year, which grew 34 per cent to $16.5bn, “quarter were favourably impacted by $3.3 billion, or 27%, due to the addition of the legacy Wyeth products.”

CEO Jeff Kindler said: “We are pleased with the rapid pace of the [Wyeth] integration and our ability to quickly realize the benefits of our combined organization​.”

Despite the gains, Pfizer issued modest earning guidance for 2010 of between $2.25 and $2.35 per share. The firm also said that revenue will be in the $67bn to $69bn due to the sale of its animal health unit, HIV franchise and divestiture of Wyeth’s Relisor.

H1N1 vacc and Releza boost for GSK

GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) turnover for 2009 grew 3 per cent to £28bn with the contribution from its drug business climbing 2 per cent to £23.7bn. Sales were helped by its H1N1 vaccine, which contributed £883m, and its influenza drug Relenza, which brought in £720m.

As predicted, the UK drug major said it will expand its restructuring programme, explaining that it aims to save an additional £500m by 2012 across its R&D and SG&A activities.

CEO Andrew Witty said that:"A significant proportion of these new cost savings will be generated through reduction of infrastructure​," but did not say how many job losses would be involved.

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