Lundbeck has posted a strong set of financials for the first quarter but has stuck to its earnings guidance for the full year, due to increased generic competition and launch costs.

Revenues rose 21% to 4.57 billion kroner (about $807.4 million), while operating profit soared 73% to 1.53 billion kroner, boosted by an upfront payment of 284 million kroner from partner Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. The divestment of its US portfolio of non-core products resulted in a gain of 454 million kroner.

The antidepressant Cipralex (escitalopram) rose 4% to 1.54 billion kroner, while revenues from Lexapro, the US version of the product sold by Forest Laboratories, sank 97%% to just 11 million kroner. The Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa (memantine) was up 3% to 789 million kroner, while sales of Azilect (rasagiline) for Parkinson's disease increased 30% to 358 million kroner.

As for Lundbeck's newer products, Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease posted sales of 315 million kroner, up 12%, while epilepsy drug Sabril (vigabatrin) brought in 118 million kroner (+38%). Onfi (clobazam) for the treatment of Lennox Gastaut-syndrome climbed 94% to 96 million kroner.

Chief executive Ulf Wiinberg said Lundbeck's performance in the quarter "brings us a long way in delivering on our expectations for the year, however there is also reason to be cautious as we will see increased generic pressure on Ebixa and increased launch costs throughout the year". The company will be rolling out the next-generation antidepressant Brintellix (vortioxetine), its once-monthly version of Abilify (aripiprazole) for schizophrenia and the alcohol dependence treatment Selincro (nalmefene).

For the full year, the firm is sticking with its guidance of revenues of 14.4-15.0 billion kroner and operating profit of 1.9-2.4 billion kroner.