Firm pays €2.15bn dividend to US parent

THE main Irish subsidiary of US pharmaceutical firm, Forest Laboratories this year paid a dividend of $3 billion (€2.15bn) to its US parent, new figures show.

Documents just filed with the Companies Office show pre-tax profits at Forest Laboratories Holdings Ltd fell sharply by 45%, from $859.9m (€617.105m) to $466.9m (€335.078m) to the end of March this year.

The Dublin-based company is the license holder to manufacture and distribute Forest Laboratories’ best selling pharmaceutical products in the US.

The corporation’s total global sales to the end of March last were $4.19bn, and the Irish subsidiary accounted for 63% of the total sales.

The $3bn dividend payout reduced accumulated profits at the company to $693.6m at the end of March.

The Irish subsidiary’s revenues increased by 5% from $2.5bn to $2.66bn in the period. However, in separate returns to the Security and Exchange Commission in the US, Forest Laboratories confirm that $22.8m of sales took place in the Irish market.

Globally, the corporation employs 5,000 and 291 are listed as working for the Irish subsidiary, with 258 engaged in manufacturing, 17 in administration and 16 in sales and marketing.

The company operates a 220,000 sq ft tabletting facility at Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park in Dublin where it manufactures products for the US.

The Irish company’s staff costs last year increased by 9% from $20.1m to $22m.

Research and development costs last year increased by 74% from $438m to $766m.

The company’s best-selling drugs are Lexapro, used to treat depression and anxiety disorder and Namenda, which is used to treat Alzheimer’s.

The directors state that Lexapro, Namenda along with Bystolic and Savella, account for the majority of the company’s sales and any unexpected negative development relating to the products would have a material adverse effect on the results of operations.

However, the directors point out that the group will continue to enjoy exclusivity of these products in the short to medium term.

The company sustained a 45% decrease in operating profits from $803.7m to $439.9m.

The chief factor behind the drop in profits was the company’s operating expenses increasing 28.7% from $1.7bn to $2.2bn.

Pre-tax profits were also hit by interest receivable payments declining by 49% from $57.5m to $29.1m with finance costs almost doubling from $1.3m to $2.1m.

The filings show that to the end of March, the company paid $24m in corporation tax to the Irish Government and this followed tax paid of $27m in 2009.


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