Merck profit rises, cuts 2020 forecast over COVID-19 uncertaintyMerck profit rises, cuts 2020 forecast over COVID-19 uncertainty
FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Linden, New Jersey

(Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc on Tuesday posted a 10.4% rise in first-quarter profit, helped by strong sales of cancer therapy Keytruda, but the drugmaker lowered its 2020 profit forecast due to uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company now expects its full-year adjusted profit forecast to be in the range of $5.17 to $5.37 per share, down from its prior estimates of between $5.62 and $5.77 per share.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to $3.22 billion, or $1.26 per share, in the quarter, from $2.92 billion, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)