Netherlands-based chemicals group, Akzo Nobel, which has seen its financial results slide in recent years, as rising pension costs and adverse currency effects conspired with US generic competition to the antidepressant Remeron (mirtazipine) to reduce earnings, appears to be seeing a return to its fortunes. The firm said this morning that second quarter net income rose 22% to 182 million euros, climbing 66% to 469 million euros on a six monthly basis.

Revenues for the three months were flat versus the corresponding period last year at 3.4 billion euros [[19/07/04c]], and operating income was down 9% to 312 million euros as the company felt the effects of higher raw material costs and a new pension deal with the Dutch trade unions, which resulted in an extra 25 million euro charge during the quarter. Nevertheless, the firm is standing by previous guidelines of flat full-year earnings versus 2004.

The Organon pharmaceuticals unit, which is undergoing a dramatic restructuring in a bid to save costs [[21/10/03a]], seems to be recovering well, with revenues increasing 4% during the quarter to 603 million euros. The unit also benefited from a 149 million euro special pre-tax benefit from the termination of the co-promotion agreement with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen-Cilag for the latter firm’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone) [[01/04/05b]].

The Intervet animal healthcare business posted a 9% rise in sales to 277 million euros, and the coatings unit was up 7% to 1.5 billion euros. Chemicals’ second-quarter revenues of 963 million euros were 2% higher than last year.