Tamiflu swine flu drug boosts Roche but Genentech takeover dents profits
SWISS drugs firm Roche yesterday booked a massive drop in profits due to its takeover of Genentech – despite increasing demand for its swine flu treatment Tamiflu.
The group said its first half profit fell by 29 per cent to SFr4.1bn (£2.3bn) from SFr5.7bn a year earlier.
The drop in profits was mainly due to costs relating to its $47bn takeover of Genentech. But the group said that the acquisition will yield savings of SFr1bn a year by 2011.
Chief executive Severin Schwan said: “I am especially pleased about the excellent progress we’ve made in integrating Roche and Genentech.”
The group also increased its earnings forecast for the full year. It said it now expects earnings per share to grow at a double digit pace in 2009 and 2010, compared to a prior forecast for no change.
It also cheered investors by saying it now expects a sales growth rate close to 10 per cent in 2009.
The group yesterday said: “We expect 2009 full year sales to grow well ahead of the market.”
Roche added that drug sales had jumped by 11 per cent in the first half of 2009. Without Tamiflu, the increase would have been seven per cent
Sales of Tamiflu jumped by 200 per cent in the period, making SFr1bn (£567m). Roche said Tamiflu production would be expanded to 400m packs annually by early 2010.