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Merck Kgaa Net Rises 7.5 Percent to $315 Million

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) ? Pharmaceutical and biotech equipment company Merck said Wednesday its net income rose 7.5 percent to euro227 million ($315 million) in the third quarter as sales increased for key drugs.

The maker of cancer drug Erbitux said that revenues rose 3.8 percent despite a difficult sales environment in which governments are trying to reduce health care expenditure.

Sales of Erbitux rose 4.7 percent in the third quarter on growth in emerging markets, while sales for multiple sclerosis drug Rebif rose 8.4 percent.

The company said it had "solid contributions" from its main pharmaceuticals business and its Merck Millipore division, which makes laboratory equipment for researchers.

The company said it is still taking financial charges from Merck's 2007 merger with Serono and the 2010 acquisition of Billerica, Massachusetts-based Millipore. Charges from the Millipore purchase were euro47 million and for Serono euro164 million.

The results were better than average estimate of euro213 million in net profit among analysts surveyed by FactSet. The company's shares traded 3.5 percent higher in morning trading in Europe at euro62.04.

Merck is a different company from U.S. drug maker Merck & Co., Inc.


Posted: October 2011