Pharmaceutical industry

Irish pharma firm Almac makes record turnover

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Northern Irish pharmaceutical company Almac made a pre-tax profit of £27m on a record turnover of £548m in 2018.

The company, which has its headquarters in Craigavon, County Armagh, said it had been "another strong year."

Profits are down from the £33m achieved in 2017, reflecting a higher level of investment spending.

Staff numbers rose by 8% during 2018 to just under 4,800.

Almac is considered to be one of Northern Ireland's most successful firms and is one of the region's major exporters.

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Takeda to sell eye drug to Novartis for $3.4bn

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Takeda Pharmaceutical will sell its dry eye drug to Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG for $3.4bn (£2.6bn), in its first major deal since its acquisition of Britain's Shire.

Japan's biggest drugmaker is pushing to divest billions of dollars worth of assets to cut debt taken on for the huge Shire acquisition sealed in January.

The £46bn takeover, the largest by a Japanese company, propelled Takeda into the world's top 10 list of biggest pharmaceutical companies.

GSK - give it time

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GlaxoSmithKline's first quarter results were published earlier.

Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown says the company should be given the benefit of the doubt - at least for now.

“Product sales coming in ahead of market expectations is certainly welcome news for GSK, especially given the headwind presented by generic competition to the group’s blockbuster asthma treatments in the US. It’s testament to the strong performance of Glaxo’s vaccines and new respiratory treatments – both of which have delivered good growth in the key US market.

"However, GSK has again struggled to turn profits into cash, an area where it’s a serial offender,", he said, with net debt increasing significantly year-on-year.

"Still investors should probably give GSK the benefit of the doubt, at least for now. The labs are busy, and recent product launches have performed well," he said.

The shares up 0.4% at 1,579.5p.

'Strong start' for GSK

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GlaxoSmithKline has published results for the first quarter.

The pharmaceutical company reported sales of £7.7bn and 10% rise in operating profit to £1.4bn.

"We have made a strong start to 2019, which is an important year of execution for GSK, with growth in sales, operating margins and earnings per share in Q1, in line with our expectations," Emma Walmsley, chief executive said.

"Strengthening our pipeline remains our number one priority and we reported positive data for several potential new medicines in HIV and oncology during the quarter," she said.

The company is combining its consumer healthcare businesses with Pfizer's.

J&J ahead of expectations

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Johnson & Johnson, which has faced lawsuits claiming that its talc products caused cancer, has reported a 14% fall in net profits in the first three months of the year.

The results - the first of the major US pharmaceuticals companies - were ahead of analysts estimates.

It expectations sales for the year to rise between 2.5% and 3.5% - more than the 2% to 3% rise previously forecast.