Eisai Cuts Profit Forecast, Predicts Drop as Aricept Sales Fall
Eisai Co. (4523), the Japanese maker of the Aricept Alzheimer’s disease treatment, lowered its full-year profit forecast for the second time in just over three months, predicting a decline in earnings after sales of the drug fell.
Net income for the 12 months ending March 31 will probably decrease 10 percent to 60.5 billion yen ($794 million) from 67.4 billion yen a year earlier, Tokyo-based Eisai said in a statement today. The drugmaker previously predicted profit would increase to 67.5 billion yen.
Revenue from Aricept, once the world’s best-selling medicine for Alzheimer’s disease, plunged 50 percent to 123.4 billion yen in the nine months ended Dec. 31 after cheaper generic treatments became available in the U.S., the world’s largest drug market. Eisai is increasing its focus on cancer treatments, including the Halaven drug, and boosted sales in the segment 16 percent to 69.1 billion yen, it said.
Aricept accounted for 38 percent of the drugmaker’s revenue last fiscal year.
Eisai rose 0.3 percent to 3,165 yen as of 1:24 p.m. in Tokyo trading, while Japan’s benchmark Topix index advanced 0.9 percent.
The company previously lowered its full-year net income forecast on Nov. 1, to 67.5 billion yen from 69.5 billion yen.
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