BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine revenue forecasts lower than expected
The German company reported fourth quarter and full year revenues today of €4.3bn and €17.3bn, respectively. Q4 revenue in the prior year had been €5.5bn, while FY income for 2021 was nearly €19bn. "The change corresponds with the demand for COVID-19 vaccines," said the biotech.
Lee Brown, global sector lead for healthcare at Third Bridge, commenting on the financial readout, said:
"While BioNTech’s Q4 revenue and EPS came in well ahead of consensus, the company’s guidance for full year 2023 COVID-19 vaccine revenue of approximately €5bn is significantly below current consensus of over €8bn, reflecting the plummeting demand for population-wide levels of booster vaccinations.
"With the COVID-19 vaccine now transitioned from government to commercial pricing, with the latter 4-5x greater, the substantially weaker demand in volume is striking, although not altogether surprising to us based on our prior conversations with industry experts."
Compounding the situation, said Brown, is an ongoing re-negotiation of the existing supply contract with the EU Commission, which has the potential to delay deliveries over multiple years or cut previously contracted volumes.
“In addition, BioNTech highlighted its expectations for normal seasonal demand to resume, which means that expected COVID-19 vaccination revenue was meaningfully pushed to the second half, which we suspect won’t be well received given the perceived potential greater risk in execution,” said the analyst.
Building commercial capabilities in oncology
BioNTech’s financial statement illustrates its increased focused on cancer therapeutics.
“As we look to 2023 and beyond, we plan to continue investing in our transformation with a focus on building commercial capabilities in oncology and working towards registrational trials. Our mid-term goal is to seek approval for multiple oncology products in cancer indications with high unmet medical need,” commented CEO of the biotech, Ugur Sahin.
Mergers and acquisitions
Jens Holstein, the company’s CFO, maintains that BioNTech’s financial success in 2022 will provide a springboard “to accelerate and build upon our diversified clinical pipeline”. Those revenues will also fuel R&D work in the coming years, he added.
“We anticipate our COVID-19 franchise will further support our already existing financial strength in the years to come. As a science and innovation driven company, we plan to continue to invest heavily in R&D and are willing to invest in mergers and acquisitions as well as collaborations to create future growth.”