Belgium’s UCB has posted a 60% decline in net profits for 2007 as restructuring costs relating to its acquisition and subsequent integration of Germany’s Schwarz Pharma.

Net profit was 160 million euros, but recurring earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was 741 million euros, compared with 747 million euros last year. Net sales edged up 1% to 3.19 billion euros and the main driver of growth once again was the antiepileptic Keppra (levetiracetam).

Sales of the latter rose 35% to 1.03 billion euros, while UCB’s old antihistamine Zyrtec (cetirizine) brought in 487 million euros, down 13%. However its follow-up Xyzal (levocetirizine), recently launched in the USA with partner Sanofi-Aventis, had sales of 168 million euros, up 18%. Neupro (rotigotine), the firm’s once-daily transdermal patch to treat early Parkinson’s disease, had sales of 52 million euros, which UCB said “an excellent uptake” after first European launches in 2006 and the successful launch in the USA in July last year.

As for 2008, revenues will decrease as a result of the effects of patent expiry of Zyrtec “and the expected start of generic competition to Keppra in the USA along with further expected currency deterioration”. Recurring EBITDA is expected to reach approximately 650 million euros and net profit should exceed 100 million euros.