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Vaccines: Pfizer forecasts $4 billion profit this year

Credit: Belga

American-based pharmaceuticals company Pfizer is expecting to make $4 billion in profit this year (about €3.32 billion) as a result of sales of its Covid-19 vaccine, the company forecast.

The profit is based on sales of $15 billion, on the vaccine jointly developed by German partner BioNTech. The profits would be shared between the two companies. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was the first to be approved for use in the pandemic in the EU and the US.

The new business represents an increase of at least 40% on 2020 figures, from $41.9bn to $59.4bn or more.

Vaccine sales will account for 25% of all sales, based on contracts already signed. The figures could of course change if new contracts are agreed in the course of the year. In the last quarter of 2020, sales had already reached $154 million.

And vaccine sales will account for between 25% and 29% of all profits, the company estimated, once the costs of research and development, production and distribution are taken into account.

Pfizer, which also has a production facility in Puurs in Antwerp province, booked net profits in 2020 of $9.6bn, which was 41% down on the previous year, partly because of a book-keeping operation whereby the consumer products division of the company was hived off into a joint operation with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK – which is about to produce its own Covid-19 vaccine).

But production costs for the new vaccine, known internally as BNT162b2, also weighed on the 202 results, with R&D costs up 12% to $9.4bn, with an increase in the fourth quarter alone of 22% to $3.35bn.

The increase in particular mirrors the efforts to develop BNT162b2 and other vaccines,” the company said.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times