Merck raises annual profit outlook as Keytruda drives profit beat

Merck raises annual profit outlook as Keytruda drives profit beat

Merck & Co Inc on Tuesday reported a 54.7per cent rise in third-quarter profit, helped by strong sales of blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda and rebound in sales of its key drugs.

FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen on a sign at the Merck & Co campus in Linden, New Jersey
FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen on a sign at the Merck & Co campus in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid//File Photo

REUTERS: Merck & Co Inc posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and raised its full-year earnings forecast, driven by resilient demand for its blockbuster cancer therapy Keytruda during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The drugmaker's revenue took a hit at the height of the pandemic as patients avoided hospital visits, denting sales of vaccines, physician-administered drugs and animal health products.

The company said it had taken the majority of the blow in the second quarter.

Merck said it now expects full-year adjusted profit of between US$5.91 and US$6.01 per share, compared with its prior forecast of between US$5.63 to US$5.78 per share.

For 2020, Merck now expects an unfavorable impact to revenue of about US$2.35 billion due to the pandemic, up from US$1.95 billion it had initially estimated.

Excluding items, Merck earned US$1.74 per share, beating analysts' average estimates of US$1.44 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Source: Reuters

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