Pharma CEOs more confident than leaders of other industries



    TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - A third of pharmaceutical industry CEOs are very
confident that they can increase their companies' revenues over the next 12
months, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 12th Annual Global CEO
survey.
    The survey of 47 pharma CEOs around the world indicates that the credit
crunch may actually provide opportunities for many large pharma companies,
particularly those with low debt ratios and strong cash positions.
    Compared to over a thousand CEOs interviewed in other industry sectors,
pharma CEOs are more confident and less concerned about the disruption of
capital markets than their peers are, less likely to state that recent
problems in the global banking system will delay investment plans, and more
likely to be using internally generated cash flow as a means of financing
growth.
    Continuing merger activity looks likely, with pharma companies using
their healthy cash balances to fund acquisitions. In addition pharma CEOs are
more likely than their peers in other industry sectors to be planning a
cross-border merger or acquisition in the next 12 months.
    "Pharma CEOs will have to make tough decisions about what actions are
required to ensure their company's future growth and successful operating
models," says Gord Jans, leader of the PwC Canada Pharmaceutical/Life Sciences
practice. "Historically, external economic forces have impacted the
pharmaceutical sector less than other manufacturing areas, and this year
pharma CEOs are notably more confident about short-term growth than their
peers. However weak pipelines require CEO's to look hard at their cost base
and business structures."
    Despite challenges such as the downturn, over-regulation and low-cost
competition, 55% of pharmaceutical CEOs believe that the structural changes
facing the industry's business model will have a positive impact over the long
term.

    PwC Economic and Credit Crisis Task Force

    PwC recognizes that a global crisis requires a global and coordinated
view.
    The PwC Economic and Credit Crisis Task Force (the "PwC Task Force")
brings together a Canadian team of senior cross-functional experienced
practitioners who understand market volatility and the diverse challenges
facing companies today. By leveraging knowledge, experience and networks, the
PwC Task Force can advise and guide Canadian companies through a multitude of
capital market and economic crisis issues.
    For more information please visit: www.pwc.com/ca/managinginadownturn or
www.pwc.com/ceosurvey

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance,
tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its
clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries
across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop
fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
(www.pwc.com/ca) and its related entities have more than 5,200 partners and
staff in offices across the country.
    "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario
limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the
PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network,
each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.





For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Forest, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP,
(416) 814-5730, carolyn.forest@ca.pwc.com; Nina Godard, PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP, (416) 941-8383 x 13520, nina.godard@ca.pwc.com

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