Spain’s Almirall has reported a 3.8% increase in turnover for the first nine months of the year to 590.3 million euros, while net profit excluding extraordinary items from the same period in 2006, rose 17.7% to 129.5 million euros.

Of the products originating from Almirall's own R&D, sales of the antihistamine Ebastel (ebastine) were up 5.4% to 84.2 million euros and the migraine treatment Almorgran (almotriptan) brought in 36.7 million euros (+4.7%). These offset declines in revenues from the anti-inflammatory Airtal (aceclofenac), down 13.9% to 39.4 million euros, and the antacid Almax (almagate), sales of which slipped 0.4% to 18.5 million euros. As for the drugs that the Barcelona-based firm has a licence to sell, the lipid-lowerer atorvastatin rose 10% to 68.9 million euros and the combination asthma treatment consisting of salmeterol and fluticasone increased 17.2% to 47.7 million euros.

Almirall has been busy on the acquisitions front since it started to be listed on Spanish stock exchanges in June. The latest set of earnings were helped by a 1 million euro contribution from Hermal, the German prescription skincare unit bought from the UK’s Reckitt Benckiser in August, while 2008 will be the first time that Almirall sees the benefits from the eight products purchased from Shire last month for £213 million. That deal creats a base for future operations in the UK and Almirall intends to set up an affiliate there next year.

As for R&D, those costs rose 27.8% in the first nine months of the year to 78.3 million euros. The most notable compound in the pipeline is Eklira (aclidinium bromide) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which is being developed with Forest Laboratories and Almirall says it is also close to doing a licensing deal for Japan. Chief financial officer Eduardo Sanchiz said on a conference call that the firm is in advanced negotiations with the prospective partner but a deal is more likely to finalised at the beginning of 2008 rather than the end of this year as previously hoped.