Italy’s Recordati has posted a strong set of financials for 2008, which show healthy rises in sales and earnings.

Revenues reached 689.6 million euros, an increase of 9.7%, with pharmaceutical sales contributing 658.4 million euros, up 10.8%. Growth was driven by international turnover rising 17.7%, boosted by the contribution of French group Orphan Europe, which was acquired at the end of 2007.

However sales in Italy were down 2.8% “due to a negative price effect”, the company said, while noting that earnings growth was strong. Operating income reached 144.7 million, an increase of 10.1%, while net profits climbed 18.3% to 100.4 million euros, thanks to a lower tax rate.

Chief executive Giovanni Recordati said that 2008 “was characterised by growing revenues and profits and by important initiatives for the group’s future development”. These included the purchase of Turkey’s Yeni Ilac, and last month the firm acquired Herbacos-Bofarma, a Czech pharmaceutical company. During the year,”we also continued to enhance our product pipeline”, he added.

These include getting full European approval for the new fixed combination of blood pressure drug Zanidip/Lercadip (lercanidipine) and enalapril, as well as sealing a European licence to Watson Pharmaceuticals’ Kentera, a bi-weekly oxybutynin transdermal patch indicated for the treatment of urge incontinence. Also a file was submitted to the European Medicines Agency requesting approval of silodosin, for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.