October 30, 2009 / 5:08 AM / 10 years ago

Takeda keeps forecast, drugs outlook still tough

TOKYO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s top drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical (4502.T) said first-half recurring profit more than doubled, as there was no repeat of last year’s heavy M&A spending, but sales were dented by a strong yen, fierce competition and the lack of a major drug launch.

April-September recurring profit increased to 254.9 billion yen ($2.8 billion) from 100.98 billion yen a year earlier, when it bought U.S. biotech firm Millennium Pharmaceutical and absorbed its part of a former U.S. joint venture TAP Pharmaceuticals.

Abroad, Takeda’s bigger rivals increased their profits in the third quarter. [ID:nN22535787] U.S. giant Pfizer (PFE.N) posted profit growth as cost cuts offset a negative foreign exchange impact and falling drug sales. [ID:nN208741]

Takeda kept its full-year recurring profit forecast of 400 billion yen, a touch below a consensus forecast for 414 billion yen from 14 analysts on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Takeda shares have lost nearly a quarter of their value so far this year and have dropped this week to near 6-month lows, while the Nikkei 225 stock average .N225 has gained around 14 percent. (Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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