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2023 financial results: on our way to deliver growth for a decade plus with 5 drivers of growth

Posted by
Sandrine Dufour, EVP Chief Financial Officer

In a year marked by robust product growth and impressive launches, we are delighted to announce yet another period of strong financial performance in line or slightly better than financial guidance. Specifically, we reached an inflection point mid-2023, absorbing patent losses, and managed to resume revenue growth in the 2nd half by almost 3%. Our continued efforts in smart resource allocation, which, along with strong contribution from key medicines, enabled us to invest in our product launches.

In 2023, revenue reached €5.25 billion (-5%; -6% CER), while net sales stood at €4.87 billion (-5%; -6% CER). Additionally, the underlying profitability, measured by adjusted EBITDA, reached €1.35 billion (+7% increase; -1% CER).

The year 2024 will be marked by intense ongoing global launches of the UCB growth drivers, and our financial guidance for 2024 foresees a growing top line of €5.5 – 5.7 billion and an adjusted EBITDA margin of 23.0-24.5% of revenue.

We would also like to reaffirm our growth aspirations for 2025, anchored in our robust product portfolio and strong growth drivers. We anticipate revenue to reach at least €6 billion, while the underlying profitability (measured by adjusted EBITDA) is projected to fall within the lower end of the range spanning from the low to mid-thirties as a percentage of revenue.

Overall, thanks to our commitment to create and deliver new therapies to people living with severe diseases, UCB secured 14 approvals in 2023 across 6 patient populations and across 3 continents. This is combined with a pipeline of 10 potential new medicines – a rich portfolio offering transformative possibilities for patients while fueling UCB’s growth and the growth of stakeholder value for the next decade. These new opportunities for patients are the best part of working in this sector for me.

Highlights in the 3 key regions, United States, Europe and Japan since the last Half-Year Report include:

  • In the U.S., we received FDA approval for a new treatment for adults with gMG, plus for the first and only IL-17A and IL-17F inhibitor for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. And in February 2024, the FDA accepted the supplemental biologics license applications (sBLA) for three new spondyloarthritides indications.
  • In the European Union, an important development was the acceptance for review for a treatment of adults with moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), a chronic, recurrent, and debilitating skin condition with high unmet medical need. We also obtained approval for a treatment for adults with gMG, plus a new treatment for adults with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) who have certain conditions.
  • In Japan, we got new approvals for a treatment of partial-onset epileptic seizures in young patients, as well as one for adult patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG). We then got approval for a treatment for adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA), active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA). Finally, we submitted the marketing authorization application for epilepsy medicine treating partial onset seizures.

I’m very excited to see these new developments make a difference in patient’s lives as we move through 2024.

Part of this story and mission is doing it sustainably, and we are committed to building value while continuing to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions in line with our ambition to reach net zero emissions. Our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible – for patients and our stakeholders - guides everything we do.

In closing, our 2023 financial results mark a significant milestone on our journey toward sustained growth. With robust product launches, strategic resource allocation, and strong contributions from our growth drivers, we’ve navigated challenges and achieved remarkable progress. I am extremely proud of UCB’s performance, let’s remain committed to creating value for patients in immunology, neurology, and other domains that align with the unmet needs of our stakeholders, now and into the future.

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