Belgian pharma company UCB announce 2015 income increase by growth in three new drugs

Friday, Feb 27, 2015

Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB forecast improved income in 2015 on Friday based on continued growth of its three newer drugs, although its profit outlook is not as bullish as that of the market.

UCB forecast revenue this year of 3.55-3.65 billion euros ($3.98-$4.09 billion), recurring core profit (REBITDA) of 710-740 million euros and core earnings per share of 1.90-2.05 euros.

The revenue figure was in line with the average of estimates in Thomson Reuters StarMine, but below expectations for profit.

The company, which makes drugs targeted at diseases of the immune and central nervous systems, said recurring core profit (REBITDA) in 2014 rose 14 percent to 609 million euros.

The figure was just below the average 613 million euros expected in a Reuters poll of six analysts. UCB had previously forecast REBITDA of 590-620 million euros.

The expansion came from higher revenue and a decline of costs other than research and development.

UCB said combined sales of newer drugs Cimzia, to treat bowel disorder Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy treatment Vimpat and Neupro for Parkinson's disease and restless leg syndrome, rose 24 percent.

UCB said sales of Cimzia, one of three major new drugs launched in recent years, rose 34 percent to 797 million euros, some 6 million euros above the average market expectation.

Sales of Vimpat, increased by 15 percent to 471 million euros, below the market expectation of 481 million euros.

Sales of Neupro rose 10 percent to 200 million euros, against an expected 224 million euros.

Sales of older epilepsy drug Keppra, now facing generic competition, fell by 7 percent, a shade more than expected.

UCB has a host of other older treatments such as for allergies and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which are off patent in Europe and North America.

UCB announced a planned dividend of 1.06 euros, bang in line with expectations, from 1.04 euros a year earlier.


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