HEALTH

Perrigo gears up for cough-cold season

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo is steeling for a potential volatile cough-cold season this year, because even as news of the continued H1N1 pandemic dominates the American conscience, the fact is recent cough-cold seasons have been historically weak.

“The H1N1 influenza outbreak is a cause for concern for all of us,” commented Perrigo president, CEO and chairman Joe Papa to analysts. “We take this outbreak very seriously and our retailers are preparing for the flu season right now,” he said, noting that the category represents approximately 12% of Perrigo revenues.

Outside of cough/cold, however, Perrigo’s next fiscal year looks very promising, especially given an economically-driven move to private label and the better value equation of store brand, over-the-counter products. “The overall OTC consumer market was up 4% in the [fourth] quarter versus last year as national brands were essentially flat,” Papa said, discussing Perrigo’s fourth-quarter results for the fiscal year ended June 27. “Store brands gained 13% on the strength of new product launches and increased market share … the analgesic and gastrointestinal categories were up more than 4% during the quarter. National brands were relatively flat in those categories but store brands grew 9% and 20% respectively in those categories.”

Overall consumer healthcare fourth-quarter net sales increased 9% to $407 million, results that are pared against the very successful launches of omeprazole and cetirizine. “That means this is a 9% incremental growth on top of those launches last year,” commented Judy Brown, Perrigo EVP and CFO. “Approximately 7 percentage points came from both new and existing product sales growth and another 9% came inorganically from the acquisition of JB Labs, Unico, Diba and Brunel.”

Perrigo is projecting revenue growth of between 6% and 8% in the coming fiscal year. “Our plan does factor in competition in the gastrointestinal and smoking cessation category during the year,” Brown said. “We are also aware of the FDA reviews related to acetaminophen-containing products and believe the impact to our consumer healthcare business will be limited during the transition to new product lines.”

Perrigo is planning to launch as many as 20 new products in the coming year, including potential private-label competition to Schering-Plough’s laxative MiraLax (brand sales of approximately $200 million and growing 20% per year) beginning in Perrigo’s fiscal second quarter this fall.

Perrigo also plans to launch store-brand versions of Reckitt Benckiser’s cough/cold remedy Mucinex and McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s Monistat-1 this year. Annual brand sales for Mucinex are approximately $150 million, Perrigo reported.

Monistat-1 currently has $80 million in annual branded sales, Pap stated.

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Alka Seltzer

BY Michael Johnsen

As seen on shelf at Walgreens, having a major pharma player like Bayer HealthCare field what essentially is a hangover-relief product adds credibility, not to mention a little more shelf presence, to similar products like Living Essentials’ Chaser Plus.

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Hospital puts spin on retail therapy with Valley Health Marketplace

BY Michael Johnsen

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. The Valley Hospital on Friday announced its new Valley Health Marketplace — www.valleyhealthmarketplace.com — an online store offering a wide range of products, including home medical equipment, post-surgical and rehabilitation products, fitness videos and accessories, and nutritional supplements.

Some of the store’s most popular items so far are nutritional supplements, orthopedic rehabilitation equipment and nursery items, the company stated.

The online store”Healthcare retail is a new idea for hospitals,” stated Rita Donato-Edwards, Valley’s director of retail strategies. “Our new online store enables us to extend the continuum of care beyond the hospital walls.”

To encourage shoppers to try the new online shopping site, Valley is offering a first-time discount of 25%. And every order ships for only $4.95. “So many people enjoy the ease of shopping online,” Donato-Edwards said, “especially when they are convalescing and may find it difficult to get in and out of the car and go out shopping.”

Valley Health Marketplace also offers a free Healthy Rewards loyalty program. Healthy Rewards members accumulate points based on retail purchases and receive award certificates, special offers, merchandise discounts and special sale notifications.

The site also such offers non-medical items as cooking and parenting books, baby products, videos, cosmetics and gifts.

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