Drug maker Schering-Ploughdrugs, announced on Monday that its 2006 second quarter earnings surpassed Wall Street expectations due to a surge in the sales of key drugs.

The New Jersey- based firm, turned its net loss of $70 million a year ago into a net income of $237 million. The EPS for this year was $0.16 up from -$0.05 in the same quarter last year. Excluding the restructuring of its manufacturing operations, the drug-maker earned $0.25 or $375 million. The Wall Street estimate polled by Thomson Financial was $0.17.

Total sales rose 11 percent from $2.53 billion to $2.82 billion. This surpassed Wall Street estimates of $2.65 billion. In the second quarter of 2006, the key sales growth drivers were primarily its drugs Remicade, Nasonex, and Peg-Intron in addition to its solid earnings from the company’s cholesterol drug franchise with Merck.

Among the prescription products posting higher sales in the quarter was Remicade, a treatment for immune-mediated inflammatory disorders, up 31 percent to $307 million.

Global Nasonex sales rose 21 percent to $242 million, with U.S. sales climbing 25 percent to $144 million primarily due to greater market share. Sales of the company's Peg-Intro hepatitis C product rose 25 percent to $226 million, driven primarily by continued enrollment of new hepatitis C patients in Japan.

“Our turnaround is well under way. We have been growing faster than our peers since the beginning of 2005,” said Fred Hassan, chairman and CEO.