INGELHEIM, Germany (Reuters) - German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim's operating income rose 14 percent last year as cost cuts and sales of anti-blood-clotting drug Pradaxa helped counter the impact of currency effects, it said on Tuesday.
Germany's second largest drugmaker said sales of Pradaxa, which competes with Bayer (BAYGn.DE) and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) Xarelto as well as Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMY.N) and Pfizer's (PFE.N) Eliquis, jumped to 1.2 billion euros ($1.66 billion) in its third year of market approval.
The figure represented an 8.8 percent improvement in euro terms, and more than 16 percent when adjusted for currencies.
The German group's full-year operating income rose 14 percent to 2.1 billion euros last year while sales fell 4.3 percent to 14.1 billion euros.
The company said sales were severely hit by the weak U.S. dollar and Japanese yen. Adjusted for currency effects, sales rose 1.4 percent.
Boehringer said sales would be flat in 2014 and operating income would rise only slightly, adding it expects no particular signs of growth emerging in the pharmaceutical industry in the course of the next few years.
"The market environment for innovative medicines is not going to get any easier in the current financial year," said Andreas Barner, chairman of the management board.
U.S. courts are scheduled to start hearing cases against Boehringer Ingelheim over Pradaxa in August, the drugmaker has said.
Claimants accuse Boehringer of not having sufficiently warned of the risks associated with Pradaxa. ($1 = 0.7238 euros)
(Reporting by Frank Siebelt and Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by Victoria Bryan)