Danish drugmaker Lundbeck saw its profit slide 18% to 543 million kroner for the third quarter of 2005, as a small dip in expenses during the period was outrun by falling sales, primarily in the USA. Earnings per share of 1.75 kroner were down 7% from the year-ago period.

Revenues slipped 6% to 2.3 billion kroner, including a 3% currency punch, as a strong performance in Europe was countered by a poor result in the USA.

In terms of worldwide growth, the group’s Alzheimer’s drug Ebixa (memantine) was the star performer, with sales soaring 59% to 292 million kroner, closely followed by the group’s flagship drug, the antidepressant Cipralex (escitalopram), which rocketed 50% to 693 million kroner. On the down side, Lundbeck’s other antidepressant, Lexapro (escitalopram), did not do so well, its turnover slipping 9% to 610 million kroner.

Regionally, sales in Europe jumped 11% to 1.3 billion kroner while revenue from international markets leapt 27% to 312 million kroner, but the USA turned in a dismal performance, with turnover tumbling 34% to 614 million kroner.

In Europe, Lundbeck’s new pharmaceuticals Cipralex and Ebixa, launched in 2002, continue to conquer market shares, rising 46% to 557 million kroner and 55% to 262 million kroner, respectively. Also contributing was Azilect (rasagiline), which has been rolled in the first countries in Europe for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with partner Teva Pharmaceutical Industries [[28/06/05e]], generating sales of 2 million kroner.

In the USA, Lexapro, the second-most prescribed antidepressant in the country with a current market share of around 16%, saw its turnover drop 9% to 610 million kroner. According to Lundbeck, the period continued to see heavy inventory building, although this has now largely been completed, and the drug’s slice of the market should edge up again.

As the results came in largely in line with expectations, the company is standing by its previous full-year outlook, calling for a profit hike of around 2.2 billion kroner over last year’s 2.1 billion kroner [[10/03/05e]], with a subsequent growth of 12% in 2006 and 2007.