Celltrion Q3 net plunges 49 pct on price cuts, low output

November 9, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s leading biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion Inc. said Friday its third-quarter net profit plunged 49 percent from a year earlier due to price cuts and reduced output.

Net profit for the July-September period fell to 54.66 billion won (US$48 million) from 106.39 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

“The company lowered the prices of Truxima, which cures hematologic malignancy, to gain a bigger share in the European biosimilar markets. A temporary suspension of No. 1 plant in Incheon (40 kilometers west of Seoul) for maintenance work resulted in reduced output,” a company spokesman said over the phone.

Thus, lower prices and reduced production ate away at the quarterly bottom line, he said.

Operating profit fell 44 percent to 73.63 billion won in the third quarter from 131.85 billion won a year ago. Sales were down 0.4 percent to 231.10 billion won from 232.09 billion won, the statement said.

Looking ahead, Celltrion expects its earnings will improve in the long term as it is likely to win approval for the sale of Truxima and Herzuma, which treats breast cancer, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within this year, it said.

Celltrion specializes in biosimilars — cheaper generic versions of the pricey “biologic” drugs that are among Big Pharma’s best-sellers. It operates two plants in Incheon.

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