French drugmaker Ipsen saw its first-half profits dip slightly but said it was still on track to meet its financial targets for 2006.

Net profit fell 1.4% to 88.1 million euros ($113m), while operating profit was down more than 6% to 108 million euros, held back by costs related to the re-purchase of rights to Reloxin (botulinum toxin type A), one of Ipsen’s key drugs, from Inamed. Sales rose 6.6% to 431 million euros, despite pricing pressure in Europe that carved around 14 million euros off the tally.

Ipsen said in a statement its results were in line with expectations and kept to its forecasts of sales growth of 6.5% to 7.5% in 2006, helped by its recent entry into the US marketplace via its acquisition of a stake in Tercica, giving the latter the right to sell its Somatuline Autogel (lanreotide) product for acromegaly in the USA and Canada.

Ipsen’s chief executive, Jean-Luc Belingard, said that the second half would be a pivotal period for the company, with filings for febuxostat – a drug used to treat hyperuricemia which can lead to gout – in Europe, as well as an application to sell Somatuline Autogel in the USA.