Fast-growing Icelandic pharmaceutical company Actavis reported record first-quarter results, as revenue surged forward on the back of its recent series of acquisitions.

Actavis, which is hoping to expand still further via a $1.85 billion merger off to Croatian generics company Pliva, said revenues came in at 342 million euros ($442m), almost two and a half times higher than in the first quarter of 2005. The gain was mainly achieved through the incorporation of the generics activities of US firm Alpharma, which was completed at the end of 2005. Net profit doubled to 31 million euros.

Sales in North America – previously not a major territory for Actavis but now accounting for a third of turnover - were 113 million euros, including 77 million euros as a first-time contribution from Alpharma’s human generics division in addition to 36 million euros from Amide, another recent purchase.

During the quarter Actavis launched 86 new drug products, the most significant being lansoprazole, which is prescribed for the treatment of gastric ulcers, and glimepiride, an oral blood-glucose lowering drug used for diabetes.

“While the business has benefited from strategic acquisitions in key markets, the underlying performance of the group is extremely encouraging,” commented Robert Wessman, Actavis’ president and chief executive.