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Half Year Report 2015: core medicines deliver strong growth

Posted by
Antje Witte, Investor Relations
Strong growth from our three core medicines ensured that UCB continued on its growth path for the first half of 2015.

It is almost three years since we passed the 'inflection point' at which sales of these products eclipsed sales of UCB's established epilepsy drug. Now, 55% of the company's total net sales can be attributed to these three core medicines. We expect the continued growth of these medicines towards our combined peak sales target of at least € 3.1 billion driving overall company growth.

Revenue for the first half of the year was € 1,917 million, +21% or 12% at constant currency exchange rates (CER). Sales of the three core products were € 942 million, +40% or 23% CER. Our established epilepsy product had net sales of € 385 million, +14% or +2% CER.

Underlying profitability (recurring EBITDA) reached € 464 million (+49%; +31% CER), driven by tailwind from foreign exchange rates, strong net sales growth, higher gross margin – thanks to the improved product mix – and a relatively lower increase of operating expenses. Hence, we reached a Core earnings per share number of 1.18€ after 0.96€.

Given the tailwind from currency exchange rates, we have adjusted the financial outlook for the full year 2015 to reflect these exchange rate effects.

While we had to report disappointing news on our lupus project, we also saw some positive news from our pipeline. The phase 3 trial began for our core medicine in primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Two proof-of-concept studies started – one being a combination of an investigational drug with our core medicine in rheumatoid arthritis and the other one including a new small molecule in development for highly drug-resistant epilepsy.

I also would like to express our sincere thanks to the patients and clinical investigators, and to all people living with severe diseases. Your insights and your participation and efforts in clinical programmes make our commitment to developing new therapies for the treatment of severe diseases possible.

If you are now heading for a well-deserved vacation, please enjoy – I will be around and "on duty" if you have questions or would like to chat. Otherwise we will meet each other in September: New York, London, Amsterdam and Paris are on my list – looking forward to connecting!

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