"We are pleased with our achievements in the past year, particularly our return to the U.S. influenza vaccine market," Pien said in a prepared statement.
Manufacturing problems caused Chiron to cancel all sales of its Fluvirin vaccine in the U.S. during the 2004-05 season. Chiron returned to the market during the 2005-06 season, albeit with a reduced supply of vaccine. Chiron
Pien said Chiron should have the manufacturing capacity to produce 40 million doses for the 2006-07, but he added that capacity doesn't equal actual sales.
Fluvirin sales played a role in the improved fourth-quarter and full-year performance, he said, as did expanded royalty and license revenue. Chiron benefited from an 11% tax rate during 2005 vs. 28% in 2004 on a GAAP basis. The reduced tax rate was caused by lower profits in certain foreign locations and the transfer of some product rights in 2004. Chiron doesn't expect such a low tax rate this year.For all of 2005, the company reported GAAP earnings of $186.6 million, or 97 cents a share, on revenue of $1.92 billion. In the previous year, it earned $78.9 million, or 41 cents a share, on revenue of $1.72 billion. Among major business units, Chiron said vaccine sales rose 18% to $604 million during 2005. Blood-testing revenue gained 12% to $556 million, and drug revenue added 6% to $629 million. Royalty and licensing fees rose 9% to $317 million.