Global forex volatility to continue in 2009 -Teva CFO

Published: February 17, 2009

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ (TEVA.O: Quote, Profile, Research) chief financial officer said on Tuesday that global exchange rate volatility, which impacted its 2008 earnings, looks to continue in 2009.

“We are not great forecasters of exchange rate movements but it doesn’t look like it has calmed down and we expect to see continued volatility in 2009,” Eyal Desheh, Teva’s CFO, told a news conference.

Teva (TEVA.TA: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s largest generic drugmaker, said exchange rate differences negatively impacted its fourth-quarter financial results by about 5 percent while positively impacting sales by 2 percent for all of 2008.

Desheh also forecast the rate of leverage will drop to 25 percent at the end of 2009 compared with 27 percent at the end of 2007. It rose to 34 percent by the end of 2008 due to the $7.46 billion purchase of Barr Pharmaceuticals that required higher debt to finance the acquisition.

“We forecast that at the end of 2009 in terms of leverage we will return to where we were before we bought Barr,” Desheh said, explaining that debt will fall this year due to strong cash flow, debt redemption and an increase in equity.

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