Source Pravda.Ru

Drug maker Schering makes profit on multiple sclerosis pills sales

Drug maker Schering AG said Monday that its third-quarter net profit rose by 29 percent, lifted by stronger sales of its birth control pill and treatments for multiple sclerosis and program to cut costs. The Berlin-based company earned Ђ160 million (US$192.2 million), or 85 euro cents a share (US$1.02), compared with Ђ124 million, or 64 euro cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Analysts had expected the company to report a profit of Ђ136 million.

Sales rose 9 percent to Ђ1.36 billion (US$1.63 billion) from Ђ1.24 billion a year earlier, with sales of its birth control drug Yasmin rising 34 percent to Ђ165 million (US$198.2 million). The company said sales of its MS treatment, Betaseron, were up 8 percent year-on-year, although they declined in the United States by 6 percent to US$94 million (Ђ78.3 million).

Chief Financial Officer Jorg Spiekerkotter said the quarterly results were the best in the company's history, and said its program to trim costs by cutting jobs and closing plants helped it improve its net profit.

"We will continue to drive the measures to increase profitability," he said.

The company said it expects it operating margin to be more than 17 percent through the rest of 2005, according to the AP.

"This means that we will already come close to our set profitability goal of 18 percent for 2006 in this year," Chief Executive Hubertus Erlen said.

In the first nine months of the year, Schering's net profit rose 25 percent to Ђ480 million (US$576.6 million), or Ђ2.53 (US$3.04) a share, on sales of Ђ3.9 billion (US$4.7 billion).

In the first nine months of the year, Schering's net profit rose 25 percent to Ђ480 million (US$576.6 million), or Ђ2.53 (US$3.04) a share, compared with Ђ385 million, or Ђ2.01 a share, in the same period last year.

Sales were Ђ3.9 billion (US$4.7 billion) compared to Ђ3.6 billion.

T.E.

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