Recordati has posted a reasonable set of financials for the first quarter and laid out its plans for growth as generic competition makes in-roads into sales of the Italian drugmaker’s big-selling blood pressure tablet Zanidip.

Revenues edged up 1.2% to 185.9 million euros, while net income climbed 8.5% to 30.0 million euros. Pharmaceutical turnover was up 1.6% to 179.6 million euros, despite the expiry in January of the patent covering Zanidip/Lercadip (lercanidipine) in the main European countries.

Sales of the drug fell 13.7% to 44.2 million euros, while the antihypertensive combo Zanipress (lercanidipine+enalapril) brought in 6.4 million euros, over double the amount for the like, year-earlier period. Geographically, Recordati did reasonably well in Germany (+5.7%), but its best markets were Russia, Turkey and other central and eastern European markets (+19%). Domestic sales were up 1.3% to 55.6 million euros.

Recordati needs to reduce its reliance on Zanidip and hopes that Carbaglu (carglumic acid) will help in the future. In March, it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for hyperammonaemia due to an autosomal genetic disorder resulting in the deficiency of the liver enzyme N-acetylglutamate synthase.

Also, the company believes that Urorec/Silodyx (silodosin) for benign prostatic hyperplasia will be a future growth driver. European launches are expected from September and Recordati has just signed up Zambon as its marketing partner in France and peak sales in Europe are forecast to reach 100-150 million euros. Another major compound for the firm is Livazo (pitavastatin), which is expected to be approved in Europe in the third quarter and is also forecast to have sales of around 100-150 million euros.

At a presentation for analysts and specialised press in Milan, Recordati said that sales of lercanidipine will “diminish progressively over the 2010-2012 period” to approximately 100 million euros “and remain relatively stable thereafter”. However, Zanipress is expected to bring in 70 million euros by 2012 “with further growth expected thereafter.”

For this year, total revenues should exceed 700 million euros, while net income topping 95 million euros. For 2011 and 2012, turnover should hit 730-740 million euros and 780-800 million euros, respectively, with net income reaching 100-102 million euros and 110-112 million euros.

Chief executive Giovanni Recordati said the results and business plan “confirm the potential of our product portfolio and the ability to maintain a good level of profitability in the medium term” despite generic competition to Zanidip. He added that “we will continue with our policy to acquire new products to develop as well as new geographical presence in order to add impetus to both sales and profits growth”.