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Pfizer sales dip as net income surges in Q2

Lipitor performance weighs heavy on the figures

PfizerPfizer reported a 7 per cent dip in revenues to around $13bn in the second quarter on generic competition, although reported net income ballooned thanks to windfall payments. 

The financial results played second fiddle however to Pfizer's announcement that it would split into three units, and expectation that the move could result in further divestments.

Chief executive Ian Read said the figures were on target. "From a total company view, we are tracking to our expectations for the full year and continue to capitalise on the investments we are making to better position Pfizer for long-term success," he told investors on the firm's results call.

Reported net earnings per share were $1.98 in the second quarter, more than four times the $0.43 posted a year ago, but excluding the $10.5bn pre-tax gain from the spin-out of Zoetis and a litigation settlement with Teva and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries for patent infringement of Protonix (pantoprazole) fell 5 per cent.

Looking at the performance of individual products, cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) weighed heavy on Pfizer's overall revenues as sales of the product fell 55 per cent to $545m in the wake of patent expiries in Europe and the US.

There were also declines for pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar - down 3 per cent to $969m - as well as blood pressure treatment Norvasc (amlodipine) that slid 10 per cent to $313m and Viagra (sildenafil) for erectile dysfunction, which started to feel the effects of generic competition in Europe and was fairly flat at $484m.

On the positive side, sales of oncology drugs rose 28 per cent thanks to the contribution of new products such as Inlyta (axitinib) for kidney cancer and Xalkori (crizotinib) for lung cancer, which surged to $71m and $67m, respectively, in the quarter. Their performance managed to offset a small decline in sales for kidney cancer treatment Sutent (sunitinib), which was off by 2 per cent to $312m.

Epilepsy, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia therapy Lyrica (pregabalin) cemented its position as Pfizer's biggest product with a 10 per cent gain to $1.13bn, while painkiller Celebrex (celecoxib) grew 10 per cent to bring in $715m in the quarter.

Among Pfizer's newest products, Xeljanz (tofacitinib) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis added $22m, while Pfizer did not reveal its share of the sales of anticoagulant Eliquis (apixaban) - which is partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Read also gave a little more information on the results call about Pfizer's plan to split into three separate units, two focusing on branded drugs and one on generics.

One of the units - headed by Geno Germano - cut across both the primary care and specialty and require large selling efforts into primary care. The other - run by Amy Schulman - involves "smaller businesses that I wanted to make sure … didn't get assumed into a large primary care business".

31st July 2013

From: Sales

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