Nycomed eyes emerging markets boost to 60% of sales

Nycomed execs are following their Big Pharma brethren in promising big growth in emerging markets. They're also echoing the bigger drugmakers with laments about losing sales to new generic competition to big products, in this case, the stomach drug Protonix.

The company posted a 10 percent drop in 2010 sales, to €3.17 billion, or $5.2 billion, and earnings fell 20 percent to €850.5 million. Protonix sales dropped by 27.8 percent to €908 million, or $1.27 billion. That's partly because Protonix lost patent protection in both Austria and Switzerland, key European markets for the med (Nycomed markets the drug in partnership with Pfizer).

On the positive side, CEO Hakan Bjorklund said he was pleased with Nycomed's performance in emerging markets, where it showed above-industry-average growth for the year. Calling emerging markets "a powerful engine of growth for the future," he said Russia is now Nycomed's largest market, Brazil has moved into second place, and overall, emerging markets accounted for 39 percent of 2010 sales. By 2015, Bjorklund predicted, "We expect them to make up around 60 percent."

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