Roche profits fall over debt restructuring
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche said Wednesday its net profit had dropped 16 percent in 2014 due to debt restructuring in spite of higher sales.
Net income declined to 9.54 billion Swiss francs (9.2 billion euros, $10.5 billion) from 11.37 billion francs last year, the world's larget maker of cancer drugs said.
Sales however rose one percent to 47.46 billion francs from 46.78 billion francs a year ago.
At constant exchange rates, sales increased five percent, reflecting the strength of the Swiss currency against the yen, the dollar and several Latin American currencies.
Analysts polled by the AWP financial news agency had forecast a profit of between 11.2 and 11.5 billion Swiss francs and a turnover of between 46.6 and 47.3 billion Swiss francs.
Roche said it had restructured part of its debt in 2014 to take advantage of the low interest environment but this resulted in a one-time loss of 279 million Swiss francs. Nevertheless the restructuring should lead to higher savings in the long term, it said.
"In total, these costs and impairments resulted, after taxes, in a 10 percent lower net income," the company said.
Pharmaceuticals division sales were up one percent in terms of Swiss francs, driven by oncology, including 20 percent increase in demand in HER2-positive breast cancer medicines and a six percent rise in the sales of Avastin.
A flu epidemic in the United States at the end of last year helped boost sales of drug Tamiflu, which surged 54 percent.
Roche said it would pay a dividend of 8.00 Swiss francs per share for 2014, up three percent from 2013.
© 2015 AFP