Takeda swings to FY loss on Actos settlement; Weber sees growth ahead

Takeda CEO Christophe Weber

Takeda Pharmaceuticals swung to a net loss of ¥145.78 billion for the year ended March 31 as it took a charge related to a $2.3 billion settlement of lawsuits involving its Actos drug in the U.S., but kept the dividend at ¥180.

The result, compared to a profit of ¥106.66 million in the previous financial year, highlights both the Actos legal settlement move and some initial research and executive appointment moves by new Takeda Pharmaceuticals CEO and President Christophe Weber who took over April 1 and vowed to enhance the company's global footprint through dealmaking.

Weber spoke about the transition in the May 15 release.

"FY2014 was a year of transformation for Takeda, and at the same time, a year during which we delivered our business targets," Weber said, though he skirted any detailed remarks in the release on the tussle with Orexigen Therapeutics ($OREX) over Contrave.

"We obtained approval for four important new treatments with Entyvio, Contrave, Takecab and Zafatek, and achieved significant pipeline milestones, including the phase (III) interim results for ixazomib. EPS was mainly impacted by the Actos settlement agreement expected to resolve the vast majority of Actos product liability lawsuits pending in the U.S, which will reduce financial uncertainties for the company and allow us to focus on developing innovative medicines for patients around the world."

He added that in the coming year both cost monitoring and growth prospects will be balanced as Japan's top and oldest drug firm, which fell briefly this year behind the market cap of Astellas, was poised for a turnaround with low single-digit underlying revenue growth and underlying core earnings growth higher than underlying revenue growth as well as underlying core EPS growth higher than underlying core earnings growth.

"Financial discipline will sustain our business momentum, and I anticipate FY2015 will be a turnaround year for Takeda as we have positioned the company for long-term sales and profit growth."

Yasuchika Hasegawa, the company's first non-family CEO, and the force that has pushed the company beyond its parochial outlook, personally championed France native Weber over some family resistance as the first foreign CEO of the company.

- here's the release
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