Merck Posts Solid Q3 Results

Profits jumped four-fold

Merck posted on Oct. 27 a solid third-quarter profit and expressed confidence despite the international economic crisis.

Merck said its net profit had jumped more than four-fold to 200.1 million euros (US$251 million) in the three-month period, from 36.2 million in the third quarter of 2007, which was marked by charges linked to its purchase of Serono.

Quarterly sales increased by 8.7% to 1.89 billion euros.

Merck chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley was quoted as saying that "the group continued to post solid growth despite international financial turbulence, and negative foreign exchange rates."

The group essentially confirmed its 2008 targets, saying it now expects sales to expanded by between 6-8% percent, compared with a previous forecast of between 5-9%. Merck's profit margin was tipped to come in between 23%-25%, down slightly from the previous outlooks of 23%-27%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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