Ahead of its merger with $68 billion merger with Pfizer, Wyeth has posted higher-than-expected earnings for the second quarter but sales were hit by the impact of the strong dollar.

Net income was up 13% at $1.27 billion, while group sales were down 4% to $5.70 billion. However, they were up 2% excluding the effect of foreign exchange.

Revenues were driven by the pneumococcal disease vaccine Prevnar, which grew 13% to $783 million, where sales of the arthritis and psoriasis therapy Enbrel (etanercept) were up 6% to $736 million (excluding the USA and Canada, where it is co-marketed with Amgen; alliance revenue there was up 7% to $304 million).

Wyeth’s best-seller continues to be the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine), though sales were down 25% to $772 million as a result of generic competition, a factor which reduced sales of the antibiotic Zosyn/Tazocin (piperacillin/tazobactam) by 5% to $304 million. The firm’s Premarin (conjugated oestrogens) range of hormone replacement therapies fell 5% to $257 million and as for the antiulcerant Protonix (pantoprazole), sales were up 4% to $237 million; $150 million of that came from Wyeth’s own generic version of the drug.

Chief executive Bernard Poussot said the results “reflect the ongoing strength of our biotechnology and vaccine franchises, Enbrel and Prevnar and our nutritionals products”, the latter division contributing $436 million, up 1% or +9% excluding the currency factor). As a result Wyeth has raised its full-year earnings guidance to $3.48-$3.58 per share from $3.33-$3.53.