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Roche net income decreases 29% in H1

PHARMACEUTICALS maker Roche Holding AG yesterday posted a 29 percent drop in net income for the first six months because of costs related to the takeover of California-based Genentech, but results were boosted by sales of the antiviral Tamiflu in the face of the swine flu pandemic.

Sales of anticancer drugs also fed the profit of 4.1 billion Swiss francs (US$3.84 billion), which compares with 5.7 billion francs in the year-earlier period, Roche said.

Excluding exceptional items, net income attributable to Roche shareholders was up 11 percent at 5.2 billion francs.

The company said Tamiflu sales accounted for 4 percentage points of sales growth in pharmaceuticals.

Group sales were up 2 billion francs, or 9 percent, to 24 billion francs.

"I am especially pleased about the excellent progress we've made in integrating Roche and Genentech," CEO Severin Schwan said. "Work at Genentech's research and early development center in South San Francisco has continued seamlessly with the existing management team."

Schwan said the company would be realizing synergies from the merger sooner than originally anticipated because of the consolidation of the manufacturing network and streamlining administrative functions.

The company said total one-time integration costs would be approximately 3 billion Swiss francs.

The acquisition strengthens Roche's ability to deliver on innovation in its core pharmaceuticals and diagnostics businesses, Schwan said.


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