Pfizer boss denies takeover is needed to fix tumbling profits

Julian Harris
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PFIZER boss Ian Read insisted yesterday that the attempted £63bn takeover of pharmaceuticals rival Astrazeneca is not being driven by a need to reverse his company’s fortunes, despite revealing a 15 per cent drop in first-quarter net income.

Read told investors that his company is not pursuing Astrazeneca “because we feel any negativity towards our present strategy, which we see as very strong.” He added: “We have gone out of way to stress that we see the Astrazeneca deal as accelerating an already good strategy.”

Yet shares in Pfizer fell 2.6 per cent in New York after the pharma giant published its latest figures for the opening three months of the year, revealing a nine per cent dip in revenues to $11.4bn (£6.7bn), compared to $12.4bn during the same period a year earlier.

Net income came in at $2.33bn, down from $2.75bn during the first quarter of 2013.

Scottish-born chief executive Read admitted that generic competition was taking its toll on the firm, but argued that the future is bright – with or without Astrazeneca.

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