Nycomed, which is set be acquired by Japan's Takeda, posted turnover for the second quarter of 786 million euros, with growth in emerging markets offsetting declines in Western Europe and the USA.

Overall, revenues were flat compared with the same period of 2010, with emerging markets advancing 23.5% in local currencies thanks in part to the contribution of Guangdong Techpool Biopharma, which Nycomed took a majority stake in last year.

There was "a positive impact from our decision to market our portfolio of products directly in China rather than through distributors," commented Nycomed's chief executive Håkan Björklund, who also pointed to good gains elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in Africa, the Middle East and Russia/CIS.

Sales in Europe were down 4.9% while North America slumped more than 14% as a result of the sale of Nycomed's emergency products business to BTG last year and comparison with last year's stock build-up ahead of the launch of generic imiquimod, an immune stimulant.

Maintaining overall flat sales was a reasonable result, according to the firm, given that sales of its gastrointestinal drug pantoprazole continue to be hit by generic competition and fell 5.5%.

The privately-held Swiss drugmaker also said earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 4.5% to 188.6 million euros.

Growth in future is expected to come from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment Daxas/Daliresp (roflumilast), which was introduced in the USA by partner Forest Laboratories earlier this year and has also started to roll-out in Europe. The US launch is expected to gain traction in the third quarter, said Björklund.

Other positive development include the transfer of marketing authorisation approvals in Asia-Pacific for osteoporosis drug Bonviva (Ibandronate) from Roche, and the acquisition of a portfolio of products in Turkey which could add 10 million euros-plus in sales every year.

The company's pipeline is also making gains, with a New Drug Application submitted in the USA for respiratory drug ciclesonide in an HFA nasal aerosol by US partner Sunovion, while a single-dose spray formulation of cancer pain treatment Instanyl (fentanyl) was approved in Europe last month.

"Nycomed ends the first half of 2011 in excellent shape and looks forward to an even brighter future," said Björklund.