Danish drugmaker Lundbeck said today that its earnings before interest and taxes fell 15% to 2.2 billion kroner ($355m) in 2005, as forecast, and reiterated that EBIT would fall further to 1.6 billion kroner this year.

The reason for the decline in 2005 was a one-off payment the previous year from Merck & Co last year which inflated its earnings, while 2006 will be affected once again by slower-than-forecast sales of its Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) antidepressant in the USA by partner Forest Laboratories.

Revenues fell 7% to just over 9 billion kroner, as US sales fell 23% largely as a result of generic competition affecting Lexapro. On the plus side, revenues climbed 11% to 5.1 billion kroner in Europe, on good gains for escitalopram (sold as Cipralex). Together, Lexapro and Cipralex account for more than half the company’s total revenues.

Lundbeck’s Alzheimer’s disease treatment Ebixa (memantine) saw sales climb 35% to 1.1 billion kroner, and the company noted it had two new product approvals in 2005 - Azilect (rasagiline) for Parkinson’s disease and Serdolect (sertindole) for schizophrenia - that would help get its finances back on track over the coming years.