Jordanian drugmaker Hikma’s full-year profit, revenues hit expectations

Hikma posted 2017 generics revenue of $615 million, surpassing its expectation of about $600 million. (Reuters)
Updated 14 March 2018
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Jordanian drugmaker Hikma’s full-year profit, revenues hit expectations

BENGALURU: Hikma Pharmaceuticals reported full-year profit and revenue largely in line with expectations, aided by strong performance in the second half of the year.
The company has struggled due to persistent price pressures in the US market and was forced to cut revenue guidance for its generics business thrice in 2017.
Hikma’s problems were further compounded by a delay in the launch of its generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s blockbuster lung drug Advair. The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday asked Hikma to conduct a further clinical study evaluating the drug.
Hikma posted 2017 generics revenue of $615 million, surpassing its expectation of about $600 million.
The company, which named former Teva Pharmaceutical generics head Sigurdur Olafsson as its CEO in a bid to improve the business, forecast revenue from generics in 2018 to be in the range of $550 million to $600 million.
“We see these results as reassuring in the context of poor market sentiment and multiple headwinds to the business and would expect a positive reaction,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note.
Hikma shares rose as much as 10.7 percent in early trading.
The Jordan-based drugmaker said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell 5 percent to $468 million for the year ended December 31, but was largely in line with analysts’ estimate of $469.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue fell marginally to $1.94 billion, also keeping with estimates.


US unveils new veto threat against WTO rulings

Updated 23 June 2018
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US unveils new veto threat against WTO rulings

  • US tells WTO appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days
  • Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatens to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars

GENEVA: The United States ramped up its challenge to the global trading system on Friday, telling the World Trade Organization that appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days.
The statement by US Ambassador Dennis Shea threatened to erode a key element of trade enforcement at the 23-year-old WTO: binding dispute settlement, which is widely seen as a major bulwark against protectionism.
It came as US President Donald Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatened to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars, the latest in an unprecedented campaign of threats and tariffs to punish US trading partners.
Shea told the WTO’s dispute settlement body that rulings by the WTO’s Appellate Body, effectively the supreme court of world trade, were invalid if they took too long. Rulings would no longer be governed by “reverse consensus,” whereby they are blocked only if all WTO members oppose them.
“The consequence of the Appellate Body choosing to breach (WTO dispute) rules and issue a report after the 90-day deadline would be that this report no longer qualifies as an Appellate Body report for purposes of the exceptional negative consensus adoption procedure,” Shea said, according to a copy of his remarks provided to Reuters.
An official who attended the meeting said other WTO members agreed that the Appellate Body should stick to the rules, but none supported Shea’s view that late rulings could be vetoed, and many expressed concern about his remarks.
Rulings are routinely late because, the WTO says, disputes are abundant and complex. Things have slowed further because Trump is blocking new judicial appointments, increasing the remaining judges’ already bulging workload.
At Friday’s meeting the United States maintained its opposition to the appointment of judges, effectively signalling a veto of one judge hoping for reappointment to the seven-seat bench in September.
Without him, the Appellate Body will only have three judges, the minimum required for every dispute, putting the system at severe risk of breakdown if any of the three judges cannot work on a case for legal or other reasons.
“Left unaddressed, these challenges can cripple, paralyze, or even extinguish the system,” chief judge Ujal Singh Bhatia said.
Sixty-six WTO member states are backing a petition that asks the United States to allow appointments to go ahead. On Friday, US ally Japan endorsed the petition for the first time, meaning that all the major users of the dispute system were united in opposition to Trump.