Spain’s Almirall has been looking back at a successful 2007 and awarded its shareholders a 40% dividend.

Speaking at the firm’s annual general meeting in Barcelona, chief executive Jorge Gallardo said that the dividend of 0.31 euros per share reflects Almirall’s strong performance which resulted in net income of 131.2 million euros for last year. Sales were up 4.5% to 792.5 million euros, driven by the antihistamine Ebastel (ebastine) and the migraine treatment Almorgran (almotriptan).

Mr Gallardo said that the company “is enjoying excellent times” and its pipeline is looking good. Almirall’s R&D spend in 2007 went up 40.8 to 122 million euros in 2007, much of which is dedicated to aclidinium bromide for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which is being developed with Forest Laboratories. Results from a Phase III trial will be available during the second half of 2008 for the drug, which will be “a remarkable event for Almirall”, according to Mr Gallardo.

The company listed on the Spanish stock exchange last June and that move was seen as part of Almirall’s desire to expand internationally. It has recently acquired Hermal, the German prescription skincare unit bought from the UK’s Reckitt Benckiser and eight products from Shire for £213 million, moves which “served as a springboard” enabling Almirall to open new affiliates in Austria, the UK, Poland and Switzerland.