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Actelion Q1 Profit Falls As Market Place Remains Challenging - Update

Swiss pharmaceutical firm Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF.PK) on Thursday reported lower profit for the first quarter, amid a decline in revenue and a strong Swiss franc. In addition, the company reaffirmed its 2012 flat core earnings forecast and upgraded product sales guidance to low single digit decrease.

GAAP net income fell to 45.06 million francs ($49.15 million) or 0.38 francs per share from 146.29 million francs or 1.20 francs per share in the prior year.

Core earnings, which are product sales minus cash operating expenses and other items, fell to 107.6 million francs from 127.9 million francs. Core earnings per share declined 31 percent to 0.66 francs.

Net revenue dropped to 417.47 million francs from 528.23 million francs a year earlier. Product sales slid 4 percent in local currencies to 415.8 million francs.

Thirty-seven percent of sales came from the U.S., 41 percent from Europe, 11 pecrent from Japan and another 11 percent from the rest of the world. In local currencies, pulmonary hypertension drug Tracleer's sales dropped 6 percent to 363.7 million francs.

Jean-Paul Clozel, CEO of Actelion, said the market place remains challenging as expected, due mainly to changes in the competitive landscape in the U.S. and strong pricing pressures in certain markets.

Actelion had previously expected product sales in local currencies in 2012 to decrease in the low-to mid-single digit range. In the first quarter, while overall pricing pressure remained high, the US pricing environment improved slightly.

The company's CFO Andrew Oakley said, "Unforeseen events excluded, Actelion can now provide an improved product sales forecast. The decrease in local currencies is now expected to be in the low-single digit range. Actelion remains on track to meet its previously issued guidance of flat 2012 core earnings."

Further, the company said it expects results for its second-generation endothelin receptor antagonist macitentan in morbidity/mortality PAH study in the next few weeks.

The stock closed lower by 3.01 percent at 32.21 francs on 531,269 shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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