Media Coverage

Merck kicks off year with Q1 double-digit growth, begins reporting profits

May 01, 2018 - Animal Pharm
By Joseph Harvey
Animal Pharm
May 10, 2018

Merck Animal Health posted an 13% hike in revenues during the first quarter of 2018.

Quarterly sales came to $1.065 billion as the company excelled across both of its species segments. Revenues from its livestock unit went up by 13% year-on-year to $652 million. This was primarily driven by the firm's products for ruminants and poultry. Merck's companion animal business grew by 14% to $413m.

The first-quarter sales featured a 6% positive impact from foreign exchange. The firm's livestock unit received a 6% foreign exchange boost, while sales of companion animal products were helped by a 9% uplift.

In the first quarter, Merck's animal health business became a reportable segment. This means the company provides additional information, which is required under US generally accepted accounting principles.

Going forward, Merck will report its animal health profits on a quarterly basis. Profits came to $413m in Q1, 2018 – a year-on-year decrease of 1%.

The company's performance in Q1 carries on from positive results in fiscal 2017. In February, the firm said its animal health sales went up by 11% in the fourth quarter of 2017, as well as the full year.

Merck has been recently boosted by high sales of companion animal products, primarily its Bravecto (fluralaner) line of flea and tick products and pet vaccines. The company is building on its Bravecto brand – it is close to extending the product's' indications in Europe with a new approval.

Merck will be aiming to replicate 2017's growth, which was the first time the animal health business unit had recorded double-digit sales growth since 2011.

Animal Pharm's 2017 industry rankings show Merck used to be the biggest animal health company in 2008. Since then it has stayed in second position until the latest fiscal year, where it was overtaken by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health (following the acquisition of Merial).

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News




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