GO
Loading...

Merck Says Fourth-quarter Profit Rose 18% on Sales of Erbitux

German drugmaker Merck said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit rose 18% after the company boosted sales of its Erbitux cancer treatment.

Net income rose to 129.5 million euros ($167.4 million) in the three months through Dec. 31 from 109.5 million euros in the same period a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sales climbed 8.5% to 1.63 billion euros.

"As the above numbers are preliminary figures and because it is still very early in the year, it is too soon to discuss a dividend for 2006 or an outlook for 2007," the company said.

Sales of Erbitux rose 55% to 337 million euros ($435.6 million). Merck sells Erbitux in Europe, while Bristol-Myers Squibb Inc. sells Erbitux in the United States and Canada.

Merck shares gained 0.9% to 90.37 euros ($116.82) in Frankfurt.

Darmstadt-based Merck's other products include the cardiovascular treatment Concor. Merck also recently completed its 10.6 billion euros ($13.9 billion) acquisition of Swiss biotech company Serono, aimed at expanding its range of drugs and share of the global biotechnology market.

Merck, founded as a pharmacy in 1668, is the oldest pharmaceutical business in the world. It has been entirely separate from New Jersey-based Merck & Co. since the end of World War I and employs some 29,000 people.

Contact U.S. News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More*

Don't Miss

U.S. Video

  • CNBC's Tyler Mathisen looks back at the week's top business and financial stories. The markets were closed for Thanksgiving, but did manage to hit new highs. Low oil prices gave consumers more money to spend for Black Friday.

  • Cyber Monday deals on Walmart's website on Dec. 2, 2013.

    CNBC's Tyler Mathisen looks ahead to what are likely to be next week's top stories. The jobs report comes out this week, as do auto sales. And the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit.

  • Following last week's wild energy ride, analysts expect oil prices to continue to drop during the holiday season. CNBC's Patti Domm reports.