Q3 revenue and profit up at Merck


Merck saw revenues increase by 3.8% to €2.5 billion and net profit rise 7.5% to €227 million in the third quarter after solid performances by its pharmaceuticals and Millipore divisions.

Revenues at Merck Serono increased 5.4% to €1.4bn after increased global sales of Rebif and Erbitux (pictured) whilst its Millipore division saw revenue reach €588 million compared to €559 million the same period a year ago.

Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, says the results leave the Group “well positioned as we head into the end of the year”.

Its Executive Board now forecasts annual Group revenues between €10-10.2 billion and the debt resulting from the 2010 acquisition of Millipore to decrease at an “excellent pace”.

Administration expenses were down 2.7% to €124 million with other operating expenses and income also declining slightly by 1.3%. R&D costs increased to €371 million in Q3 due to a combination of late-stage clinical trials and the strong Swiss franc.

Earnings before interest and tax were also down 8.4% with underlying core operating result – which excludes Merck Serono and Millipore – decreasing by 21.5% of revenues as a result of the weakening of the Performance Materials division, the Group claimed.

Generic organic revenue growth in Merck Serono increased nearly 9% after its multiple sclerosis treatment Rebif recorded global sales of €426 million and the cancer treatment Erbitux earned € 218 million, primarily as a result of growth in emerging markets.

“The Merck Group produced solid third-quarter revenue growth in a difficult environment, driven mainly by good performances from the Merck Serono and Merck Millipore divisions,” said Karl-Ludwig Kley. “We are making progress in driving our change agenda forward and we will provide important updates on this endeavour in the first half of 2012.”