Tough competition for its biggest drug and a rise in research and development costs have pushed Merck KGaA to adopt a cautious outlook for 2015, the German pharmaceutical group's CFO told CNBC Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Merck said underlying core earnings would stagnate or grow only slightly this year as it earmarks money for the developing a new immunotherapy against cancer and amid strong competition for its multiple sclerosis drug Rebif.
"We are a little bit cautious because we are facing some adverse impacts in 2015, which are first and foremost strong competitive pressure against our biggest product – Rebif," Merck CFO Marcus Kuhnert told CNBC.
"Second, we will miss six months of license income in 2015, which is burdening our profit and loss. Also we have a strategic alliance with Pfizer, with whom we are leveraging our oncology pipeline and here we will be facing a ramp-up in R&D (research and development) costs and this will also burden our P&L," he added.