August 28, 2014 2:00 am JST

Takeda sees 20% profit growth starting in fiscal 2015

TOKYO -- Takeda Pharmaceuticals' annual profit growth may average more than 20% starting next fiscal year through fiscal 2017, Chief Financial Officer Francois Roger told The Nikkei.

     The Japanese company switched to International Financial Reporting Standards last fiscal year, and has used core earnings as its own indicator of the profitability of its mainline business. The figure takes operating profit and excludes such factors as impairment losses and amortization of intangible assets, including drugs under development by acquired companies.

     Takeda expects core earnings to drop 11% this fiscal year to 280 billion yen ($2.66 billion) amid mounting promotional costs for Entyvio, a treatment for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and other drugs coming on the market that are anticipated to be future blockbusters.

     It aims to raise core earnings by 80% from this figure to 500 billion yen by fiscal 2017. Roger expects sales of new drugs to get off the ground from fiscal 2015 on, lightening the burden of related investment costs. He sees half of the increase coming from sales growth, including in emerging markets, and the remainder from cost cuts.

     Takeda plans to lower yearly telecommunications-related costs from between 12 billion yen and 13 billion yen now to 6.5 billion yen within three years by reducing the number of carriers. It will keep research and development spending at its current level of around 350 billion yen a year.

     The annual dividend will be kept at 180 yen through fiscal 2015. If the company's ability to generate cash improves, it is unlikely to lower its dividend, Roger said.