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UCB HY2021 financial results: Solid performance despite the pandemic – delivering on our strategy & guidance

Picture of author Antje Witte
Posted by
Antje Witte, Investor Relations

As the world continues to adapt to the new norm, UCB continues to adapt, delivering  strong performance. Our employees and partners have been extremely agile, responding to the changing environment. UCB is in a position of confidence – for our late-stage pipeline, for delivery on our ambitious targets and for our ability to lead in five patient populations in 2025.

The first half of 2021 has been another time of strong delivery and growth. I am so proud of how we have kept all our pipeline projects on track, despite the pandemic. All clinical development programs are on track, with six phase 3 studies to readout as planned plus one phase 3 readout, now expected earlier.

We’re excited to be preparing for the launch of our new asset for people living with psoriasis. In June, the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion, recommending granting marketing authorisation. And I’m also pleased to reveal that phase 3 readouts for additional indications for this same asset are on track by year-end, plus the one for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) due to arrive early.

Also the two phase 3 readouts in myasthenia gravis for two different assets are unchanged expected  late 2021 and early 2022.

I have full confidence in our late-stage pipeline and our ability to deliver on our short- and long-term guidance and lead in five patient populations in 2025. Our expectations for 2025 are confirmed: we aim for revenue in 2025 to reach at least € 6 billion and underlying profitability (adjusted EBITDA) to reach the low- to mid-thirties in per cent of revenue.

And, last but not least, I am satisfied of the steps forward in the areas of sustainability critical to our long-term success. Our progress – most predominantly around quality and risk – has been recognised by top sustainability rankings, including ISS ESG, MSCI and Sustainalytics.

Key numbers
The Investor Relations team has worked extremely hard preparing our HY21 financial report while handing over all the know how and tips and tricks from Nathalie to Julien and Alex.
(Plus my two cents :o) ) Nathalie has set her sails to new endavours and I am very thankful for the tremendous contribution she made - professionally and personally. The new IR Team at UCB is on hand to answer any questions you may have – test us! You might want to ask the financial questions towards Julien, our new Corporate Access and IR Manager – or chat with him about sports and his latest cocktail recipe. Discussing our pipeline and the science behind it gets engaging  with Alex, our new Investor Relations Lead – you get a similar engagement when turning the discussion towards cowboys, good food and corresponding drinks. And, yes, you have my number – always happy to chat with you!

I leave you by wishing you a safe and healthy second half of 2021, and with these key figures from the first six months of the year:

  • Revenue increased to € 2.8 billion (+7%, +11% CER), net sales € 2,651 million (+6%, +11% CER)
  • Underlying profitability (adjusted EBITDA) was € 843 million (+8%, +16% CER) or 30% of revenue compared to the first six months of 2020
  • Financial guidance for 2021 is confirmed: Revenue expected to reach € 5.45 – 5.65 billion, adjusted EBITDA 27 - 28% of revenue, Core EPS of € 5.60 – 6.10 expected
  • Financial guidance for 2025 confirmed as well: Revenue of at least € 6 billion and adj. EBITDA margin in the low to mid-thirties.

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