Shares in Serono held steady across European stock exchanges this morning despite the firm unveiling a 27% jump in quarterly revenues for its top drug Rebif (interferon beta-1a), to $326 million dollars, alongside a record US market share of 23% new prescriptions written. Not only do investors appear to want a new profit catalyst, but they are also still reeling from the $725 million charge slapped on the firm earlier this year relating to a US investigation into its growth hormone therapy Serostim (somatropin) [[22/04/05b]], [[17/12/04b]].
Overall, total revenues jumped 15% to $677 million for the second three months of the year – helped also by a 33% boost in the firm’s royalty and license income to $65 million – while product sales rose 14% to $612 million. Net income witnessed a 33% rise to $175 million, but included a $30 million exceptional gain relating to the sale of equity in Celgene.
For the full year, product sales are expected to continue to grow between 10% and 15%, leading to revenues of at least $2.6 billion. However, the aforementioned exceptional charge of $725 million will turn a $520 million-$540 million profit into a $100-$120 million loss.