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Core medicines are key to our growth

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    Earlier this year I mentioned that UCB had had a relatively slow opening quarter due in part to the late arrival of the allergy season. At the time, I noted that despite the slow start, our financial outlook for the year was on track.

    Now, half way through the year and with another round of financial data under our belts, I can report that our financial targets for 2013 are indeed confirmed.

    Revenue for the first half of the year was € 1 657 million. This is down slightly (3%) on the same period in 2012 but, as before, revenues have been driven by UCB’s core medicines.

    We have seen double-digit growth rates for our core medicines which are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and restless legs syndrome – as well as from emerging markets. At the same time, sales of UCB’s established epilepsy drug are down, particularly in Europe where the drug no longer benefits from market exclusivity.

    The continued growth of our marketed product portfolio - and accelerating growth in ‘young’ emerging markets - means we are well positioned for future growth.

    I draw similar encouragement when I look towards the highly productive late-stage development pipeline. Along with some exciting prospects currently in clinical development, we are working on broadening patients’ access to our existing drugs.

    We continue to focus on research in the interest of producing future innovations, even if it means dampening today’s profit figures. Because our development pipeline has been an excellent source of new treatment options, I hear few complaints from long-term investors when I mention our R&D spending outpaces that of many of our peers.

    Overall, sales growth of our core medicines and in emerging markets means we can hit our financial targets for this year, and coupled with our rich development pipeline we are in good shape for the years ahead.

    I wish you a well-deserved ‘summer break’. If you, however, don’t sail away, give me a buzz and we can have a chat about sailing (one of my preferred sports) or UCB’s performance – as you like. Otherwise we’ll see each other again in September when we’re hitting the road to see our investors in the US, the UK and Europe.

    For more information, please contact Antje Witte.

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