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Pfizer profits jump in fourth quarter on asset sale gain

Published on Jan 30, 2013 12:55 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - The world's biggest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, reported on Tuesday a big jump in fourth-quarter earnings, as cost-cutting efforts plus a gain from an asset sale helped offset the loss of exclusivity of a blockbuster cholesterol drug.

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter net income of US$6.3 billion (S$7.8 billion), up from US$1.4 billion in the year-earlier period. The results included a US$4.8 billion gain from the sale of the Nutrition business to Nestle.

However, Pfizer continued to feel the effects of the loss of exclusivity of its popular Lipitor anti-cholesterol drug. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 7 per cent compared with last year's level to US$15.1 billion.

Pfizer's adjusted net income, which excludes one-time items such as the Nestle deal, fell 7 per cent from the year-earlier period to US$3.5 billion.

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