SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS
BERLIN (AP) — BioNTech, the German pharmaceutical company that teamed with Pfizer to develop the first widely used COVID-19 vaccine, on Wednesday reported strong quarterly earnings growth on pandemic-fueled demand.
The company posted net profit of nearly 3.2 billion euros ($3.6 billion) for the final three months of 2021, up from 367 million euros in the same period the previous year. Earnings per share rose to 12.18 euros from 1.43 euros a year ago.
Quarterly revenue rose to 5.5 billion euros from 345.4 million euros previously.
“Our 2021 COVID-19 vaccine revenues were significantly influenced by the extraordinary circumstances of the ongoing pandemic,” Chief Financial Officer Jens Holstein said in a press release.
Vaccinations with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, marketed as Comirnaty, started in December 2020. BioNTech, based in the city of Mainz near Frankfurt, said about 2.6 billion doses of the vaccine had been delivered last year.
Heavy demand for the vaccine also helped Pfizer report healthy quarterly earnings last month.
BioNTech said it has signed orders for 2.4 billion more doses so far this year, which it expects will earn the company 13 billion to 17 billion euros in revenue.
The company, which has said it will pour windfall profits from the mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine back into developing other drugs to fight cancer and other diseases, plans to boost its spending on research and development this year by half, to between 1.4 billion and 1.5 billion euros.
BioNTech said it’s proposing a special cash dividend of 2 euros per share and will also buy back up to $1.5 billion in shares because “we would like to share our successes with shareholders.”
For the full year, the company posted net profit of 10.3 billion euros on 19 billion in revenue.