What's driving UCB's solid performance? | UCB
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What's driving UCB's solid performance?

Posted by
Anjte Witte, Investor Relations
Our half-year financial results are in and it is clear that UCB is continuing along our growth path. Revenue and profits are up, along with underlying profitability.

One of the questions I have been asked most today is 'What's behind this?'

I'll come to that in a moment but first, the numbers:

Revenue was €1,757 million, +6% or +10% at constant currencies. Net profit went up to €113 million (+65%). Core earnings per share reached €1.22.

Underlying profitability (recurring EBITDA) grew to €391 million (+29%) despite headwind from foreign exchange rates. This reflects higher net sales and lower operating expenses - thanks to continuous improvement and constantly striving for improved resource allocation, while R&D expenses remained stable.

All of this means the financial outlook for 2014 is confirmed. We expect to have total revenue in the range of €3.5-3.6 billion; recurring EBITDA of €740-770 million; and core earnings per share in the range of € 1.90-2.05.

So what are the main drivers of this performance? Clearly, our three core medicines are leading the way. Each of them is recording strong double-digit growth and, together, they have delivered combined net sales of €672 million, a growth of 25%.

This overcompensates for the anticipated decline in net sales from our established epilepsy medicine which were €339 million (-6%).

It was past investments that helped us to bring these core medicines to patients. That is why I would like to mention our R&D: UCB's rich late-state pipeline is getting closer to the next wave of new medicines – underlined by last weeks’ positive headline results for a new epilepsy drug- and has the potential to produce therapies that will grab the headlines in years to come. In addition, we are excited by progress in our early and preclinical pipeline which we hope will lead to new medicines for severe diseases down the line – check out our new entry in phase 1 and moves into phase 2!

This is why I view our latest financial report not as a destination in and of itself, but as a milestone along a growth path which we continue to follow.

Customer orientation is key for all of us at UCB – I am very impressed that UCB’s Investor Relations and our CFO have come first in Belgium (across all industries) and within the TOP 10 in the European pharma industry by Thomson Reuters Pan-European Extel Survey. Thank you for the supporting votes – a clear commitment from our side to keep up the good service. Let’s know your feedback for continuous improvement - and enjoy the summer!

For more information contact Antje.Witte@ucb.com

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