Pfizer Inc updates

Pfizer has raised its full-year revenue projections for its coronavirus vaccine by almost a third after the shot helped the drugmaker to almost double its sales in the second quarter.

The US group, which markets a widely used Covid-19 vaccine along with Germany’s BioNTech, upgraded its 2021 revenue forecast for the shot to $33.5bn from the $26bn it had predicted in the previous quarter.

The group, which shares profits on sales of the Covid shot evenly with BioNTech, generated direct sales of $7.8bn from the vaccine in the second quarter.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer chief executive, said the second quarter was “remarkable in a number of ways”.

Pfizer and Moderna, which make mRNA vaccines, are dominating the market for new vaccine orders, while rivals AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which use a different type of technology, have been hampered by concerns over side effects and supply problems.

The EU has placed forward orders for up to 2.1bn extra doses of the two mRNA shots. The US last week bought a further 200m doses of the Pfizer shot. Still, global health authorities have advised that governments should keep a wide array of different vaccines in their portfolio to beat Covid.

More than 1bn doses of the Pfizer shot have been delivered globally. Pfizer said it expected to deliver 2.1bn doses in 2021 under contracts signed as of mid-July. Some nations have begun placing orders for booster shots, though scientists and regulators are still divided on whether they will be needed.

Pfizer’s second-quarter sales rose 92 per cent to $18.98bn, while earnings per share climbed 58 per cent to 98 cents, the group said on Wednesday.

The company said sales from its overall business, excluding the impact of the vaccine, rose 10 per cent. The drugmaker raised its full-year sales guidance to a range of $78bn to $80bn, up from $72.5bn expected in the previous quarter.

The company’s New-York listed shares ticked 0.8 per cent higher in pre-market trading.

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