Resilient product portfolio drives continued company growth
Posted byAntje Witte, Investor Relations
It has been a turbulent year so far for all of us, with the COVID-19 pandemic presenting unprecedented challenges around the world. We instinctively directed our actions during COVID-19 to support our partners in society. Our colleagues and the patients we serve have been our top priority. We were also concerned about the impact of the pandemic on our communities. We have therefore immediately prioritized assistance to our employees, patients and our communities by:
- Ensuring that our employees were safe and supported financially,
- Keeping patients at the heart and ensuring availability and access to their UCB medicines as a priority
- Helping our local communities with targeted financial support and in-kind donations, and contribution to scaling up local diagnostic testing capabilities,
- Giving extended payment terms to some vendors,
- Joining forces on the global response by leveraging our scientific expertise to contribute to research projects worldwide. We are acknowledging the long-term impact of the pandemic and have set up a global fund to understand and address the long-term effect of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations’ health.
I am happy to report that in the meanwhile we have restarted clinical study recruitment, including for new studies, at clinical trials sites that meet the restart criteria. You can find the latest timelines for study headline results of our late-stage pipeline on our website – or just ask me.
I am pleased to report that UCB has seen continued company growth for the first half of 2020 and is continuing its strategic growth path. This says a lot about the resilience of our product portfolio. Revenue increased to €2.6 billion and net sales reached €2.5 billion – up 12% (or 9% at constant exchange rates (CER)). Underlying profitability was €783 million (+8%, 0% CER) or a ratio of 30%. And our financial outlook for 2020 is confirmed – it does not reflect any potential future impacts from the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, we are following these developments diligently to assess the financial significance of this pandemic on UCB.
Despite the enormous energy invested in adapting to this new environment, we also moved forward with acquisitions that will support our future growth. In April, UCB closed the acquisition of Ra Pharma, while the company acquired Engage Therapeutics in June and agreed on a co-promotion agreement with Ferring for our Crohn’s disease product in the U.S. in July.
These results illustrate the determination and agility of my almost 8,000 colleagues in reacting positively to probably the biggest test many of us will face in our (working) lives. This has enabled us to continue to meet our commitment to patients while allowing us to support our partners in society during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As ever, I remain available to discuss UCB’s financial performance, our late stage pipeline and provide further details on our financial outlook for the remainder of 2020. Please stay safe and well.