New York: Drug maker Merck on Friday posted a 57% fall in profit at $1.42 billion for the first quarter (Q1) of 2009 primarily due to the negative impact of foreign exchange.
The company had a profit of $3.33 billion in the same period a year ago, it said in a statement.
Merck’s sales for the latest quarter slumped to $5.4 billion, a decline of 8% against the year-ago period.
According to the statement, foreign exchange negatively affected global sales performance by 3% for the quarter.
“Our first-quarter results in part reflect the impact of the difficult global economy on patients, providers ... but we remain on track to meet our full-year earnings guidance,” Merck’s chairman, president and chief executive officer Richard T. Clark said.
Recently, Merck had said it would merge with Schering- Plough Corporation and the deal was estimated to be worth $41.1 billion.
“We believe our planned merger with Schering-Plough will accelerate Merck’s transformation into a global healthcare leader built for sustainable growth and success,” Richard T. Clark said.
Till the merger is complete, both entities would continue to operate independently.