Danish drugmaker H Lundbeck saw its first-quarter operating profit slashed by a third on declining US sales of a drug for depression and generalised anxiety disorder, but still came in ahead of analysts’ expectations.
The company said yesterday its profit from operations was 451 million kroner ($78m), down 29% year-on-year, as sales rose 1% to 2.23 billion kroner, also beating consensus estimates.
For the full-year, Lundbeck still sees an operating profit of around 1.6 billion kroner, a forecast it reined back earlier this year after seeing a reduction in orders for its escitalopram active pharmaceutical ingredient from US licensee Forest Laboratories.
During the period, US sales of Lexapro, Forest’s brand of escitalopram, declined 27% to 484 million kroner, although sales of Lundbeck’s own Cipralex brand of the drug advanced 57% to 837 million kroner.
Lundbeck sells Cipralex in Canada dn Europe, and, at the end of February, the agent held 10.6% of the value of the European antidepressants market compared with 7% last March, indicating that it continues to gain market share.
Turnover of Lundbeck’s Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa (memantine) grew 29% to 311 million kroner, said the firm, as the drug's share of the European market for AD drugs reached 14.1% after successful launches in France, Spain and Germany.