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Financial results: achieving growth by delivering value to patients

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    Our new financial report for 2016 was published today. It is packed with information about how we at UCB are doing financially, and what is coming down our research pipeline. Investors and analysts will read it in detail but let me highlight some of the big things that caught my eye.

    Firstly, the report illustrates the company’s financial health. Our underlying profitability – known as rEBITDA – increased to one billion Euros, representing a rise of 26% (or 18% at constant exchange rates). This was driven by revenue and net sales growth, higher gross profits while our operating expenses increased only slightly.

    Together with a reduction of the net debt to € 838 million, the ratio of recurring EBITDA to net debt improved to 0.8 times recurring EBITDA. Translation: we have regained strategic and financial flexibility after reducing our net debt. Our improved net debt ratio has reached a landmark we had committed to passing by 2018, so we are a little ahead of ourselves!

    One thing people always look for when assessing a company is growth. As our 2016 report shows, revenue growth last year was 8%, driven by strong growth of our key products of 20%.

    At the same time, we are developing novel therapies and bringing new products to market that could benefit patients into the future. For 2016, Shareholders benefit from a proposed dividend of €1.15 (gross) per share - subject to the approval by the shareholders meeting in April.

    Growth and development
    Speaking of growth and development, what I am personally most excited about is the new data on the use of one of our immunology medications by women with autoimmune disease who are planning to build a family.

    Two phase 4 studies have recently reported positive results, CRADLE and CRIB. These results will be presented at an upcoming scientific meeting and strengthen previous data on women treated during pregnancy and the effect on their newborn infants.

    Our commitment to making these medicines available to women who are planning a family and those with young babies demonstrates how we are bringing superior value to patients while delivering increased value for UCB to patients and stakeholders.

    If you have a comment or question on our 2016 financial results, please let me know. As ever, I would be delighted to hear from you. For a personal meeting: in March, we are in London, Paris and Brussels on roadshow and at conferences.

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Posted by Eric Le Jeune , 01 March 2017 Nice to hear such positive news