Pharmaceutical company Ipsen, which is due to make its debut on the French stock market before the end of the year [[02/11/05g]], shrugged off pricing pressures to post a 9% increase in nine-month sales.

Revenues came in at 607 million euros, but were held back by ‘price reductions introduced by certain public authorities in Europe during 2005, which had a negative impact of 1.4 points on growth’, the company said in a statement.

Revenues from the group's core disease areas – cancer, hormonal therapies and neuromuscular disorder treatments - came to 293 million euros, up 11%, and accounted for nearly half the company’s total turnover.

Meanwhile, sales in the major western European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) were 6% higher at 410 million euros, with the remainder of Europe increasing 17% to 118 million euros and the rest of the world up just under 12% to 79 million euros.

Ipsen is one of the few remaining French family-owned drugmakers, along with Pierre Fabre and Laboratoires Servier, and is the country’s fourth-largest pharmaceutical firm. It was set up in 1929 and is 75% owned by the Beaufour family with the balance of capital held by the PAI and CDC funds and by the Schwabe family.

"The growth in Ipsen's sales illustrates our company's momentum...and reinforces our ability to achieve the sales growth targets that we have set ourselves for 2005," said chairman and chief executive Jean-Luc Belingard in a statement.

The company is forecasting revenue growth in 2005 of between 7% and 7.5%.