April 22, 2015 / 8:31 AM / 4 years ago

Boehringer posts flat earnings on stagnant Pradaxa sales

FRANKFURT, April 22 (Reuters) - Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany’s second-largest drugmaker, posted 5.3 percent lower sales and flat operating profit for 2014, hurt by healthcare budget cuts in the United States and stagnant sales of stroke prevention pill Pradaxa.

Full-year operating profit came in at 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion), on 13.3 billion euros in sales, the unlisted family-owned group said on Wednesday.

Pradaxa, which was first to market in a new class of anti-clotting pills, stagnated at 1.2 billion euros in sales, under pressure from a range of rival products including Bayer’s Xarelto and Bristol Myers-Squibb and Pfizer’s Eliquis.

About a year ago, Boehringer settled claims that Pradaxa had caused severe and fatal bleeding in patients for about $650 million in the U.S.

Boehringer said the pharmaceuticals industry has seen a “rapidly changing market environment - particularly in the U.S.”, and stricter regulations added to pressure.

Boehringer said in January it was mulling the sale of its U.S.-based generics unit Roxane Labs to put a stronger focus on the development and sale of new pharmaceuticals.

The group, which invented mass production of baking powder in the 1890s, said it was targeting moderate sales growth in 2015, bolstered by recently launched drugs.

Among the growth drivers, it sees diabetes drugs Jardiance and Glyxambi, co-promoted with Eli Lilly, and inhalation spray Striverdi to ease wheezing, cough and shortness of breath typically caused by smoking.

$1 = 0.9301 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss; Editing by Kirsti Knolle

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