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Published on 18 April 2008

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Fall in profits for top drug firm


The world’s biggest drugmaker has announced its first-quarter profit fell 18% after wranglings over patents affected sales.

Pfizer earned £1.14bn, or 41% share, compared with profit of £1.72bn, or 48% share, during the same period a year ago. Pfizer earned 61% share, excluding charges for the buyouts of CovX and Coley Pharmaceutical Group.

The results fell short of Wall Street estimates, and its shares fell 3%.

Revenue fell 5% to £6.01bn from £6.32bn.

Pfizer shares fell 32p to £10.38 in morning trading.

Norvasc lost patent protection in March of 2007 and sales were cut in half to £260m during the quarter. Pfizer stopped selling Zyrtec in January after that drug lost patent protection.

Pfizer said cost-cutting measures partially offset revenue declines and the company is on track to reduce costs by £762m to £1.01bn by the end of 2008. The measures, which included cutting 11,000 jobs and closing eight facilities in 2007, are part of an effort to shore up the company’s financial position as it faces more costly drug patent expirations.

Copyright © PA Business 2008


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