May 14, 2019 / 7:01 AM / 6 months ago

Japan's Takeda forecasts surprise annual loss on Shire-related costs

TOKYO (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co forecast an unexpected operating loss for the current year due to costs associated with the $59 billion purchase of Shire Plc, providing the first set of financial results of the combined firm.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's logo is seen at its new headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

Japan’s biggest drugmaker said on Tuesday it expects a loss of 193 billion yen ($1.76 billion) in the year through March 2020, with the Shire acquisition negatively impacting the profit by 847 billion yen.

It had already flagged that Shire-related costs will pile up due to revaluation of Shire’s inventories and fixed intangible assets.

Takeda was expected to post an operating profit of 227.5 billion yen, according to the average estimate of 12 analysts compiled by Refinitiv. As a standalone company, it recorded an operating profit of 412 billion yen last year.

With the Shire acquisition that was completed in January, Takeda has been catapulted into the world’s top 10 drugmakers by sales. The Japanese company forecast its revenue to jump by 57.4% this year to 3.3 trillion yen.

And without considering the Shire hit, the drugmaker said it expects what it calls “core earnings” to grow 92.2% this year.

“Overall, (it is) very strong results,” Takeda chief executive Christophe Weber said at an earnings briefing. “We are not worried by this results, we were expecting that.”

While the Shire buy gave Takeda global heft, it also left it highly indebted, with 5.7 trillion yen of debt as of end-March this year.

Takeda is trying to reduce its debt pile.

It agreed last week to sell its dry eye drug Xiidra to Swiss drugmaker Novartis for up to $5.3 billion, as part of a move to dispose of $10 billion worth of non-core assets to cut debt. The company also said it is selling TachoSil, a surgical patch for bleeding control, to Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon for $400 million.

In addition to these drugs, Takeda is looking to dispose Shire-originated SHP647 that treats inflammatory bowel disease after the European Commission voiced concerns about the overlap with its own drug called Entyvio.

Takeda is aiming to focus on five key areas: oncology, gastroenterology, neuroscience, rare disease, and plasma-derived therapies, businesses that contribute about 75% of its total revenue.

“In the 25% non-core assets, we are targeting to find some assets to sell,” Weber said, without elaborating further.

($1 = 109.60 yen)

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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