Business World

Thursday 14 November 2019

Pfizer looks to spin off its generics division

Ben Hirschler and Sakthi Prasad

PFIZER reported second-quarter earnings slightly ahead of estimates as the largest US drugmaker lines up a business split that could lead to the spin off of its generics division.

The company, hit by falling sales of its now off-patent cholesterol fighter Lipitor, reaffirmed its financial outlook.

For the second quarter, adjusted income fell 10pc to $4bn (€3bn) while sales dropped 7pc to $12.97bn, the firm reported yesterday. The decline in Lipitor, which is made in Ireland, has also dented Irish export figures.

Atlantic Equities analyst Richard Purkiss said improved profit margins, helped by cost controls, were responsible for the better-than-expected profit.

Pfizer, which employs 3,500 people here, said it planned to separate its commercial operations into two units for branded products and a third for generics. Chief executive Ian Read said Pfizer's new model would help revitalise its innovation-based core drugs business.

Pfizer's generics business, which represents 17pc of sales, has lower profit margins than its patent-protected drugs. Analysts have urged Pfizer to spin off generics so it can focus on core branded pharmaceuticals.

Irish Independent

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