Actelion 9-month Profit Up, Says On Track To Meet FY13 Core Earnings Outlook

Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ALIOF.PK) reported Thursday a higher profit in its first nine months of fiscal 2013, boosted by higher revenues as well as lower expenses. Looking ahead, the Swiss biopharmaceutical company said that it is well on track to meet its local currency guidance of core earnings growth crossing into double digit territory for the full year 2013.

In Zurich, Actelion shares are currently trading at 64.20 euros, down 2.05 euros or 3.09 percent.

Chief Financial Officer André Muller said, "The solid performance during the first nine months of 2013 is a testimony to the commitment the company made to shareholder value creation. We delivered good product sales and we kept our cost base at a lower level, ahead of product launches and starting new clinical programs."

For the nine months, net income was 304 million Swiss francs, compared to 268 million francs last year. This represents an increase of 13 percent in Swiss Franc terms or 17 percent in local currencies. Earnings per share for the quarter grew 17 percent to 2.65 francs from 2.26 francs in the prior year.

Core earnings, which excluded certain items, were 496 million francs or 3.60 francs per share, compared to 444 million francs or 3.09 francs per share, a year ago. The results reflected solid underlying operational performance, the company noted.

Total net revenue rose 2 percent to 1.32 billion francs from 1.30 billion francs a year ago. In local currencies, sales grew 4 percent.

Total operating expenses decreased 2 percent from prior year. Research and Development expenses decreased 14 percent year-over-year.

Product-wise, Tracleer (bosentan) sales grew 3 percent, mainly driven by a 5 percent increase in units shipped, impacted by some phasing of wholesaler orders and positive pricing in the US.

U.S sales of Ventavis (iloprost) dropped 2 percent as it continues to be impacted by competitive pressure while benefiting from positive price movement.

Veletri (epoprostenol for injection) sales surged 47 percent. In the United States, the drug continues to gain share in the epoprostenol market, and in Japan, it has performed strongly since its market introduction in late June 2013.

Zavesca (miglustat) sales grew 17 percent, driven mainly by strong ex-US patient demand in the Niemann-Pick Type C indication and positive price movement in the US.

In the period, total operating expenses dropped 2 percent to 927 million pounds, with a 14 percent decline in research and development expenses partly offset by a 2 percent drop in selling, general and administrative expenses.

Actelion added that its guidance in local currencies also remains unchanged for the coming two years. For 2014, Actelion expects core earnings to be at least at the same level as for the current year and for 2015, earnings growth would be at least in the single-digit percentage range.

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