Belgium’s UCB has posted a reasonable set of financials for 2009 this morning despite the impact of the US patent expiry on its antiepileptic Keppra and it is predicting blockbuster status for Cimzia and Vimpat.

Adjusted net income fell 16% to 266 million euros, while total revenues were down 13% to 3.12 billion euros. Sales were down 11% to 2.68 billion euros.

Sales of Keppra (levetiracetam) were down 28% to 913 million euros, as generic competition reduced revenues in North America by 58%. The antihistamine Zyrtec (cetirizine) climbed 8% to 268 million euros, thanks to a strong performance in Japan, but its follow-up Xyzal (levocetirizine) fell to 132 million euros (-23%) due to a less severe pollen season in Europe

Sales of the anti-tussive Tussionex (hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine) were flat at 147 million euros, while Metadate CD (methylphenidate), for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, had sales of 72 million euros (-6%).

However, UCB’s future prospects centre around its new products, especially Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. It had sales of 75 million euros, up from 10 million euros in 2008, while the new antiepileptic Vimpat (lacosamide) brought in 46 million euros. Sales of Neupro (rotigotine) for Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome rose 5% to 61 million euros.

Roch Doliveux, UCB’s chief executive, said the group’s financials are on track “and our debt is successfully re-financed”. He added that “another pillar of UCB's sustainable growth will be the realisation of the full potential of our core products”, and peak sales of Cimzia are expected to reach “at least 1.5 billion euros”. Vimpat and Neupro should have sales of 1.2 billion euros and 400 million euros respectively.

UCB added that it expects 2010 revenue of about 3.0 billion euros and core profit of about 700 million euros.