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MiraLAX Launch, Claritin Drive Schering-Plough Consumer Sales

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

An increase in OTC Claritin salesand the introduction of the laxative MiraLAX during 2007 helped drive up Schering-Plough's consumer health care sales 24 percent to $254 million in its fourth quarter, the Kenilworth, N.J.-based firm said during a Feb. 12 earnings call

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Sales & Earnings In Brief

Prestige OTCs up, personal care down: The drug and personal care product marketer and distributor reports a 5.6 percent increase to $47.6 million in net revenues for its OTC segment during its fiscal 2008 third quarter, although total company net revenues were flat and total net income dropped 4.8 percent to $8 million. Diluted earnings per share for the October-December period fell from 17 cents to 16 cents. A busy cold and flu season drove Prestige Brands' OTC growth with its Chloraseptic and Little Remedies brands, as well as the Allergen Block line of preventive drug-free gels launched in 2008 (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 10, 2008, p. 15). Declines in Murine and Clear Eyes eye care brands partially offset other OTC gains, but Chairman and CEO Mark Pettie says a new "eight hours of soothing relief" claim for Clear Eyes will help drive growth. Total revenues for the Irvington, N.Y.-based firm's personal care business fell 10.2 percent from the year-ago period, because of what Pettie called "anticipated declines" in sales of Denorex dandruff shampoo. Sales of wart removers Compound W and Wartner also fell, Prestige reports. Pettie calls Prestige's free cash flow a "bright spot," but says the firm is unlikely to meet its 2 percent to 4 percent anticipated long-term growth rate in 2009

Sales & Earnings In Brief

Prestige OTCs up, personal care down: The drug and personal care product marketer and distributor reports a 5.6 percent increase to $47.6 million in net revenues for its OTC segment during its fiscal 2008 third quarter, although total company net revenues were flat and total net income dropped 4.8 percent to $8 million. Diluted earnings per share for the October-December period fell from 17 cents to 16 cents. A busy cold and flu season drove Prestige Brands' OTC growth with its Chloraseptic and Little Remedies brands, as well as the Allergen Block line of preventive drug-free gels launched in 2008 (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 10, 2008, p. 15). Declines in Murine and Clear Eyes eye care brands partially offset other OTC gains, but Chairman and CEO Mark Pettie says a new "eight hours of soothing relief" claim for Clear Eyes will help drive growth. Total revenues for the Irvington, N.Y.-based firm's personal care business fell 10.2 percent from the year-ago period, because of what Pettie called "anticipated declines" in sales of Denorex dandruff shampoo. Sales of wart removers Compound W and Wartner also fell, Prestige reports. Pettie calls Prestige's free cash flow a "bright spot," but says the firm is unlikely to meet its 2 percent to 4 percent anticipated long-term growth rate in 2009

Schering-Plough Cutbacks Underscore Consumer Business Importance

Schering-Plough will look to the diversity of its business with strong OTC and animal health divisions to help weather a major company restructuring that will cut roughly 5,500 jobs and achieve $1.5 billion in cost savings by 2012

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