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3 months interim report: UCB off to a good start in 2014

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    Compiling data for UCB’s latest interim report was a satisfying task. Yes, it is always a bit hectic pulling together all the information, preparing graphs and working on the text - especially when you are hosting the company’s AGM the same day - but when the news is good we enjoy it.

    The report contains revenue and net sales for the first quarter of 2014 which show that the company got off to a good start. The figures confirm our financial outlook for the year, meaning that UCB is on track.

    Total revenue in the first three months of the year reached
    € 840 million (+5%; +9% at constant exchange rates) driven by the 29% growth of our core medicines which reported combined net sales of € 318 million, (+33% at constant exchange rates).

    This solid performance more than compensated for the 2% decline in net sales of our established epilepsy medicine to € 167 million, and the expected decline of allergy products in Japan as well as negative exchange rate effects.

    Outlook unchanged
    The company’s financial outlook is confirmed: 2014 revenue should grow to approximately € 3.5-3.6 billion; recurring EBITDA should increase to approximately € 740-770 million. Core earnings per share are expected in the range of € 1.90 – 2.05 based on an average of 192 million shares outstanding. During the first quarter of 2014, the full conversion of the convertible bond led to the issuance of
    11 million new UCB shares, hence an increase in number of shares to 192 million outstanding.

    Core medicines
    The story of the company’s financial performance is written by our three core medicines. They are driving growth and we are pleased to see that more and more patients are getting access to these innovative products.

    So, is there more good news in the pipeline? Well, true to form, the first three months of the year also saw UCB invest in new partnerships designed to deliver the medicines that patients need.

    In January, UCB and Biogen Idec signed exclusive agreements granting UCB the right to develop and commercialise medicines from Biogen Idec for patients in South-East Asia and China.

    And in March, UCB and Sanofi entered into a scientific and strategic collaboration for breakthrough innovation to replace selected biologic agents with small molecules and thus benefit people suffering from severe diseases.

    Stay tuned for the first headline results from our phase 3 programme in epilepsy during the second half of this year.

    We hope that these investments and partnerships will fill the pages of future financial reports with good news, just as previous investments are starting to pay now.

    I am looking forward to your feedback – perhaps meeting you in Scandinavia, California or London in the weeks to come?

    Q1 2014 – Key financial facts:
    • Revenue up 5% to € 840 million;
    • Core medicines combined net sales of € 318 million +29%
    • Emerging markets and Japan show good underlying growth
    • Breakthrough innovation collaboration in immune-mediated diseases
    • Financial outlook confirmed.

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