Japan's Takeda Pharma to restructure after annual profit slump

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's logo is seen at its new headquarters in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical announced a restructuring on Thursday after annual profit slid by more than half following the loss of patent protection of major sellers.

Japan's biggest drugmaker said it will incur restructuring costs of about 140 billion yen ($899 million) this fiscal year as part of a plan to optimise its workforce, cut costs and strengthen technology.

A spokesman said there was not a specific headcount number that may be reduced in the plan, which is to be phased in "according to unique business needs and country requirements".

Operating profit was 214.1 billion yen for the 12 months through March, versus 490.5 billion yen last year and a consensus estimate of 265.3 billion yen in an LSEG survey of 13 analysts.

Takeda forecast operating profit will reach 225 billion yen in the current fiscal year.

The drugmaker had flagged fiscal 2023 as a rebuilding phase as it lost exclusivity on blood pressure drug Azilva in Japan and hyperactivity treatment Vyvanse in the United States.

But the company hit roadblocks with clinical trial failures for treatments of lung cancer and Crohn's disease, leading to hefty impairment losses in the second quarter.

In a statement, Chief Executive Christophe Weber listed three new approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Association as highlights in an "otherwise challenging year".

In February, the company reported positive Phase II results on its narcolepsy treatment TAK-861. And still in the pipeline is an experimental psoriasis drug it purchased from U.S.-based Nimbus Therapeutics in late 2022 for as much as $6 billion.

Takeda also has high hopes for its dengue fever vaccine Qdenga, with recent talks to start a clinical trial and production in India.

The company's shares are about flat so far this year, compared to a 14% advance in the benchmark Nikkei gauge.

($1 = 155.7100 yen)

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Stephen Coates and Christopher Cushing)