FELDENE, PROCARDIA, CEFOBID ARE 21% OF PFIZER's 1985 WORLDWIDE VOLUME, HELP SPARK A 14% NET EARNINGS INCREASE; SMITHKLINE's TAGAMET SALES IN U.S. UP 11% IN 1985
Combined worldwide sales of Feldene, Procardia and Cefobid in 1985 accounted for nearly 21% of Pfizer's $4 bil. total volume, up almost three percentage points from a year ago, according to information provided in a Jan. 20 interim operating statement. Individually, 1985 sales growth for each of the three major drug products was well ahead of 1984 levels based on annual report figures for that year. Procardia's 38% jump to approximately $220 mil. (in the U.S. exclusively) led the others. The 38% growth in 1985 compares to 30% growth the year before. Sales of Cefobid rose 17% to $145 mil. compared to a 5% growth rate in 1984. Feldene, Pfizer's largest pharmaceutical product, moved toward the $500 mil. mark in 1985 with double-digit growth. Feldene sales were up 14% to $463 mil. vs. a 3% increase in 1984. "Pfizer's performance in 1985 reflects the strong growth in sales of domestic pharmaceuticals, which increased by 9%, and the worldwide growth of our continued businesses in hospital products and consumer products which posted gains of 13% and 7%, respectively," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Edmund Pratt Jr. said in the release. Overall, Pfizer reported a 4% growth in total sales during 1985. Net earnings were up sharply, however, rising 14.1% over 1984 to $579.7 mil. For the last quarter of 1985, the company reported that sales were up 9.5% to $1.1 bil., resulting in 7.7% increase in net earnings to $139.3 mil. Pfizer noted that volume in the company's health care segment, which was up 5% for the year, rose 10% during the fourth quarter. The 1985 figures for the top three Pfizer drug products are also indicative of the company's somewhat precarious position into 1986. All three products face new challenges this year: Feldene is facing new NSAID competition and an attempt by the Health Research Group to get restricted labeling or a ban in the U.S.; Cefobid faces major introductions by Glaxo, Lilly and Merck in the hospital antibiotic business; and Procardia will now compete with another brand of nifedipine to be marketed by Miles as Adalat. SmithKline's reported U.S. sales of Tagamet increased 11% in 1985. In its preliminary sales and earnings report for the year released on Jan. 21, the company noted that fourth quarter U.S. sales of the anti-ulcer drug were up 17%. SmithKline Beckman President Henry Wendt reported that the "rate of new Rxs of Tagamet showed marked improvement in the second half of the year." Based on an IMS estimate of 1984 Tagamet sales in the U.S., the 11% increase in 1985 lifts domestic sales of the drug very near $500 mil. SmithKline's diuretic Dyazide, which met head to head competition for the full year from Mylan/Lederle's Maxzide, "was again the most frequently prescribed drug in the U.S., and sales increased moderately in 1985," Wendt said. He observed that SmithKline's U.S. pharmaceutical sales topped $1 bil. in the U.S. for the first time in 1985. Worldwide pharmaceutical sales increased 7.3% for the year to $1.65 bil., including a 14.1% fourth quarter gain in sales to $463.1 mil. Overall, SmithKline Beckman sales in 1985 were up 10.4% to nearly $3.26 bil., while net earnings from continuing operations grew only 2.8% to $514.4 mil. The slower earnings growth for the year reflected an increase in the company's 1985 tax rate to 32%, up from 29.8% in 1984. However, SmithKline Beckman's fourth quarter results reflected the positive impact that the weakening dollar is going to have on the financial performances of drug companies with significant foreign exposure. While currency translation comparisons resulted in lower internatl. sales for the full year, "in the fourth quarter. . . the strength of various foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar had the effect of adding $10 mil. to corporate sales," SmithKline reported. Fourth quarter sales increased 16.8% to $895.2 mil. accompanied by a 7.4% gain in net earnings to $129.6 mil. SmithKline's two fastest growing business segments continue to be its eye/skin care products, with 1985 sales up nearly 18% to $278 mil., and its clinical labs business, which showed a 46% increase in revenues in 1985 to $342 mil. Abbott, Paced by strong pharmaceutical and nutritional product sales, reported that total worldwide volume rose 8% to $3.4 bil. in 1985. Net earnings jumped 15.6% for the year to $465.3 mil. Sales of pharmaceuticals and nutritionals were $1.9 bil. in 1985, in increase of $1.7 mil. over 1984. During the fourth quarter of 1985, Abbott reported that sales were up 12.2% to $954.4 mil. while net earnings rose nearly 15% to $141.4 mil. American Home Products reported that net income for the fourth quarter and the year benefited from a reduction in the effective tax rate resulting primarily from tax benefits attributable to the firm's pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico, which became operational in early 1985. Net earnings were up roughly 6% to $183.7 mil. for the three months and up 5% to $717.1 mil. for the year. Fourth quarter volume was up 4% to $1.2 bil. contributing to a 4% gain in annual sales to $4.7 bil. . Reporting results for the first quarter of fiscal 1986 ended Nov. 30, Bergen Brunswig said sales were up 54% to $760.3 mil. over the same period last year, while net earnings climbed 15% to $6.2 mil. The wholesaler noted that its three operating divisions -- pharmaceuticals, medical/surgical supplies and consumer electronics -- booked respective sales increases of 53%, 69% and 56% during the period. Chart omitted.
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