Icelandic drugmaker Actavis, which lost out to Barr in a bidding war to acquire Pliva, said that its revenues doubled in the third-quarter to reach 324 million euros on the back of a string of other acquisitions.

Underlying revenue growth fell 3% however, as the company felt the effects of government enforced price cuts and increased competition in some key Western European markets. Underlying profits came in at 29 million euros for the quarter, but shrank to 8 million euros if the costs of Actavis’ pursuit of Pliva were factored in.

Actavis’ push into central and eastern Europe - the failure to acquire Pliva notwithstanding - paid dividends with a 6% hike in sales to 124 million euros, which took some of the sting out of a 4% dip in sales in Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, which came in at 66 million euros.

The new healthcare reforms in Germany, where the price of generic pharmaceuticals has fallen around 20% on average between 2005 and July 2006, had a particularly strong impact, said Actavis.

The picture in North America was also one of decline in the third quarter on a pro forma basis, although the 103 million euros (-6%) booked in the territory came against a backdrop of a particularly strong quarter in 2005.

Actavis said it launched new products in the US during the quarter, including meloxicam for arthritis, pilocarpine for dryness of the mouth and throat and antidepressant trimipramine. Earlier this week Actavis started distribution of glipizide extended-release tablets in the US, which is expected to be among the top five sellers in the market in 2007.

Total annual sales of glipizide ER tablets from all suppliers in the USA were approximately $195 million for the twelve months ending June 2006, according to IMS Health.

The company’s top sellers in the third quarter were gabapentin for epilepsy (12m euros), blood pressure drugs diltiazem (8.5m euros) and ramipril (7.5m euros) and opioid analgesic oxycodone (6.8m euros).

- Meantime, Actavis said it plans to close a warehouse in Maryland, USA, as part of an ongoing programme of scaling back operations in the state. Earlier this year the company announced plans to close a plant in Baltimore and move opeations to North Carolina.