Pharma Q4 2012 roundup 3 – GSK, Merck and Sanofi

Hannah Blake


This week saw the Q4 and full-year 2012 financial results reported by pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Sanofi.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GSK has reported pre-tax profit in the fourth quarter of £1.75 billion, which is up from £1.7 billion in the same period last year. Q4 turnover was down from last year’s total of £7 billion, to £6.8 billion.

However, GSK’s CEO Sir Andrew Witty said that he was confident that GSK is well placed to succeed and that the company’s R&amp,D business model is still working. Since the beginning of 2012, six new drugs have been filed for regulatory approval and the company expects phase 3 clinical trial results for 14 of its assets over the next two years.

“I am delighted with the excellent progress our Consumer Healthcare business continues to make through increased focus around a core portfolio of healthcare brands and in emerging markets, where we are seeing very positive consumption trends and benefit from sales and distribution synergies with pharmaceuticals.

“We also continue to strengthen our core business through acquisitions and equity investments. In 2012, we completed three significant transactions, with HGS, Shionogi and Theravance to increase our share of the economics on key future growth assets.

“We are more confident than ever that GSK is well placed to succeed in emerging and pro-innovation markets and that our R&amp,D model is working. This is creating clear, long-term capacity for GSK to deliver sustained innovation and benefit to patients, and sustained performance and returns to shareholders.”

Sir Andrew Witty, Chief Executive Officer, GSK.

Looking ahead to fiscal year 2013, GSK expects core EPS growth of 3 % to 4 %, with turnover growth of around 1%, at constant currency rates.


Full-year 2012 worldwide sales for Merck were down 2% to US $47.3 billion, compared to full-year 2011. In August 2012, Merck lost market exclusivity on its asthma medication SINGULAIR (montelukast sodium) in the United States, which impacted sales. However, strong sales growth of key products, such as type 2 diabetes drug Januvia and HPV vaccine Gardasil, helped to offset this impact.

“Merck overcame significant challenges last year and delivered strong results in 2012 by successfully growing our businesses, expanding geographically and reducing our expenses. As we begin 2013, we are well-positioned to further execute on our business strategy.”

Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck.

Sales from emerging markets grew 9 % and accounted for approximately 20 % of pharmaceutical sales in the fourth quarter. This positive growth is mainly being driven by vaccines, primary care and women’s health. China continues to be a key driver for Merck, with a 35% sales growth in the fourth quarter.

Merck expects full-year 2013 non-GAAP EPS to be between $3.60 and $3.70, and the 2013 GAAP EPS range to be $2.03 to $2.26.


Sanofi reported total sales of €34,947 million, an increase of 0.5%. The company suffered many patent expirations and were impacted by generic competition – net sales lost came to €1,345 million.

Diabetes continues to be a strong driver of sales for Sanofi, recording a sales growth of 16.7% to €5,782 million, mainly attributed by Lantus. In Q4 2012, diabetes sales increased by 20.9%, representing the eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth.

“2012 was a turning point for Sanofi with the loss of exclusivity in the U.S. for several significant legacy drugs. Despite the effect of the patent cliff, Sanofi was able to grow sales and mitigate the impact on Business EPS. At the same time, Sanofi was able to obtain nine significant regulatory approvals and submit six new files with regulatory agencies. Although the financial results in the first half will experience a residual effect from patent expirations, we expect to resume growth in the second half of 2013. This will be driven primarily by continued strong performance from our growth platforms which now represent more than 70% of our sales and rose nearly 10% in 2012. We are on track to meet our 2012-2015 objectives for sustainable growth”.

Sanofi Chief Executive Officer, Christopher A. Viehbacher.

The impact from the loss of exclusivity of Plavix and Avapro in the United States is anticipated to continue affecting business net income in the first quarter of 2013 by approximately €800m at CER. Including this impact, according to Sanofi, the continued strong performance of growth platforms, investments in late-stage pipeline, launch expenses for new products and ongoing cost savings should lead to a 2013 business EPS flat to 5% lower than 2012 at CER, barring major unforeseen adverse events.

Also, don’t miss the Q4 results of Amgen, BMS, Novartis and AZ, Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche.




Reference links:

GSK press release

Merck press release

Sanofi press release

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