NEW YORK - Merck says its profit will fall in 2009 due to restructuring costs, generic competition and slower sales of key products.

The Whitehouse Station, N.J., company, which employs about 12,500 in the Philadelphia region, expects an adjusted profit of $3.15 per share to $3.30 per share on sales of $23.7 billion to $24.2 billion. It maintains its 2008 forecast and growth outlook through 2010, but the 2009 forecast is below Wall Street estimates.

Analysts expect a profit of $3.52 per share and revenue of $24.59 billion in 2009.

Merck expects sales of the human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil and hypertension drugs Cozaar and Hyzaar to be similar to 2008 levels, and slow growth for the respiratory drug Singular. Its billion-selling osteoporosis treatment Fosamax lost U.S. patent protection in February.