Takeda profits fall in first half as Actos sales contract

Christophe Weber

Takeda COO Christophe Weber announced a revamped management structure in September that he is building in an effort to revive the Japanese drugmaker. And from the company's just-released 6-month earnings report, the reason the revamp is needed is apparent.

The drugmaker reported that its revenue for the first half ended Sept. 30 was up 2.8% to ¥851.4 billion ($7.5 billion), but its net profit was down 22% and its core earnings were off 7% to ¥169.3 billion ($1.5 billion).

In a call with analysts, CFO François-Xavier Roger said that the company had total underlying revenue growth in the first half of the year of 1.7%, with double-digit growth in the U.S. and emerging markets, and strong growth in Europe, according to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha.

Takeda's European focus will now be the responsibility of a new executive, Marc Princen, a 25-year veteran who joined the company from Merck ($MRK). He was named president of the European and Canada (EUCAN) business unit, one of the 5 positions created as part of Weber's reorg move. Princen replaces Trevor Smith, who stepped down from the position Saturday but will stay on with Takeda through March to help with the transition. Princen most recently was president of the Mid-Europe Region at Merck based in Switzerland.

Princen is the second new face as part of the reorganization. Christophe Bianchi was moved up to become head of Takeda's Cambridge, MA-based Millennium unit, taking over the job from Anna Protopapas, whose departure was announced at the time of the revamp.

In addition to Europe and Canada, the regional business units laid out by Weber consist of Japan Pharma, Emerging Markets, United States, and Japan Consumer Healthcare. Weber also created specialty business units for oncology and vaccines and realigned R&D to key in on a reduced list of therapeutic areas: central nervous system; cardiovascular and metabolic; gastroenterology; and oncology. Millennium will become the new center of Takeda's oncology efforts.

Weber was named president of Takeda earlier this year and is slated to take over the CEO role from Yasuchika Hasegawa by the end of 2014. During the conference call, Hasegawa lauded Weber, who has been the focus of attacks by some former employees who disapprove of a non-Japanese executive leading the company. "I've witnessed him demonstrate his experience, knowledge and agility at every turn, even among the Japanese people. His modest and considerate manner is remarkable and his style of managing through close communications deepens his understanding and I am even more convinced that we have the best leader for our company," Hasegawa said.

Weber has been handed a very big challenge, navigating Takeda through tough times after its patent loss for Actos. The diabetes drug had accounted for half the company's U.S. revenues and 18% of its worldwide sales. Revenues from the drug were down nearly 19% in the first half to ¥18.3 billion, or $160.8 million. The company last year started on a $1 billion cost-savings program to help offset the loss of revenue from Actos.

- here's the H1 release (PDF)
- read the Princen announcement
- get the analyst call transcript