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Genentech takeover pushes Roche results down

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche says its full-year net profit dropped 22 per cent to SFr8.51 billion ($8.06 billion) over costs linked to the takeover of Genentech.

The company took over California-based Genentech, a biotechnology firm, in March 2009 despite strong opposition from the Genentech board – a move that cost Roche $46.8 billion.

Sales rose eight per cent to SFr49.05 billion and core earnings per share were up ten per cent to SFr12.19.

The results were below analysts' expectations, but Roche struck a more positive note.

“In a turbulent external environment Roche performed extraordinarily well,” said Roche CEO Severin Schwan.

Schwan said the integration of Genentech, which cost Roche SFr2.4 billion in restructuring expenses last year, was "a major step". The move has helped boost Roche's income from Genentech-developed cancer drugs Avastin and Rituxan.

Basel-based Roche said it expected mid-single digit growth in the coming year and predicted sales of its best-selling antiviral drug Tamiflu to fall to SFr1.2 billion from SFr3.2 billion in 2009.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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