Pharma Q4 2012 roundup 2 – AZ, Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche

Hannah Blake


Following last week’s publication of the Q4 financial results of Amgen, BMS, Novartis, this week saw the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Roche all report their last quarter of 2012 earnings.

AstraZeneca (AZ)

Despite reporting that full-year revenue was down 15%, AZ’s CEO insisted that the company will return to growth in the near future. The loss of revenue reflects the loss of exclusivity on several brands, including Seroquel IR in all three markets, US, Europe and rest of world (ROW).

“Our performance in 2012 reflects a period of significant patent expiry and tough market conditions globally. Despite the challenges we face, I am excited about AstraZeneca’s fundamental strengths which will be key in returning the Company to growth and achieving scientific leadership while maintaining our reputation for strong financial discipline.”

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.

AZ’s portfolio continues to grow, with products including blood thinner Brilinta / Brilique (ticagrelor) and non-small cell lung cancer treatment Iressa, while its diabetes alliance has recently been strengthened by the inclusion of the Amylin portfolio and the approval of Forxiga in Europe.

Eli Lilly &amp, Co

For Lilly, it was better-than-expected fourth quarter results even though revenue declined only by 1%, compared to the same period last year, giving the company a worldwide total revenue of US $ 5.957 billion. The 1% decrease was mainly driven by the patent expiry of Zyprexa. However, this loss was largely offset by growth in other products, such as Cymbalta, Forteo and Alimta.

Lilly forecast earning would increase this year by 13% to 17% to US $3.82 to $3.97 per share, excluding special items, due to cost controls.

Novo Nordisk

On the other hand, Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announced a sales growth of 18%, attributed largely by type 1 and type 2 diabetes drugs Victoza, NovoRapid and Levemir. Overall, net profit increased by 25% to DKK 21.4 billion.

In 2012, the company reached its four long-term financial targets. Conseqently, two of the four targets have been increased. For 2013, sales growth measured in local currencies is expected to be 8-11%, and operating profit growth measured in local currencies is expected to be around 10%.


2012 was a good year for Pfizer, with financial results showing strong operational and financial performance. Q4 results easily beat analyst expectations as profit more than quadrupled due to tighter spending and a US $4.8 billion gain from selling its nutrition business. The company’s CEO has also hinted that Pfizer may split into separate units for generic and branded products.

And the company believes it is entering 2013 with “one of the most robust pipelines in our recent history”.


Roche also delivered a strong performance in 2012, with Group sales rising 4% to 45.5 billion Swiss francs due to growing demand for its cancer medicines and increased sales of diagnostic tests to clinical laboratories.

Roche’s three top-selling products of 2012 were MabThera/Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin, which all performed strongly in all regions.

The United States and emerging markets remained the main regional growth drivers for the Group, offsetting lower sales in Western Europe, which were weaker due to ongoing price pressure and generic competition.

“2012 was a very good year for Roche. We met our financial targets, grew faster than the market, and our strong pipeline positions us well for further growth. A particular highlight in 2012 was the approval of breast cancer medicine Perjeta, which helps women with HER2-positive breast cancer live longer. We now look forward to getting T-DM1, our other novel breast cancer therapy, to patients as soon as possible.”

Roche CEO Severin Schwan.

Roche expects Group sales in 2013 to increase in line with the sales growth recorded in 2012 at constant exchange rates.

On Friday 8th February, don’t miss the fourth quarter financial reports of Sanofi and GSK.


Reference links:

AstraZeneca press release

Lilly press release

Novo Nordisk press release

Pfizer press release



Don't miss your daily pharmaphorum news.
SUBSCRIBE free here.