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Merck looks ahead to merger

Drugmaker Merck saw second-quarter net income fall 12 per cent to $1.59bn (&pound;967m), or $0.74 a share, yesterday. Excluding one-off items, the company earned $0.83 a share, beating an analysts&rsquo; consensus forecast of $0.77. Revenue fell 2.9 per cent to $5.9bn, a decline the company hopes to reverse with its plan to spend $44bn on rival Schering-Plough.<br />