Cancer Drug Erbitux Helps German Merck's Results


German pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck KGaA said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit fell 75 percent because of costs related to its purchase of Swiss biotech firm Serono.


The Darmstadt-based maker of cancer drug Erbitux earned 36.2 million euros ($51.6 million) in the July-September period, compared with 144.3 million euros a year earlier. Despite the drop, the result was better than the 11 million euros ($15.68 million) that analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted.

The company's sales rose 5 percent to 1.67 billion euros ($2.38 billion) from euro1.08 billion last year. However, that fell short of analysts' forecasts of 1.73 billion euros ($2.47 billion).

Shares of Merck were down 0.7 percent to 88.32 euros ($125.89) in Frankfurt.