Italian drugmaker Chiesi Farmaceutici says that its 2006 sales reached 593.2 million euros, an increase of 5%, which the firm represents a strong performance given the effect of price cuts in its home market, Germany, Spain and East European countries.

Operating income was up 18% to 61.2 million euros, driven by sales in Germany, Spain, Austria, Eastern Europe, Russia, Greece, Brazil and Pakistan, and international sales made up 58.5% of total revenues. Chiesi’s R&D spend rose 8.3% to 76.9 million euros.

The products driving the firm’s growth included Curosurf (poractant alpha) for the treatment of premature infants affected by respiratory distress syndrome and the new asthma treatment Foster (combined formoterol and beclometasone dipropionate) launched in Germany in October. Atimos/Forair (formeterol) and the antihypertensive manidipine also performed well.