The world's third-largest generics drugmaker, Watson Pharmaceuticals, has formally changed its name to Actavis (the firm which was acquired for $5.60 billion last year) and set out its growth plans.

At an investor meeting in New York, the combined company says 2012 sales will come in at around $5.90 billion, an increase of 29% over last year, and earnings per share of $5.85-$5.95 (+25%). Chief executive Paul Bisaro, said that "with a strengthened global commercial position spanning 62 countries and a commitment to funding R&D at levels sufficient to generate a robust and diversified development pipeline encompassing generics, brands and biosimilars", the new Actavis should deliver double-digit growth in 2013 and beyond.

Siggi Olafsson, president of Actavis Pharma (the new firm's global generics business), noted that 2012 saw more than 30 new product launches in the USA, while European revenues grew more than 20%. He added that "our combined R&D organisation has delivered a world-class portfolio [and] we are also leaders in Paragraph IV filings, with 49 applications that we believe to be first-to-file".

However the firm's estimates for this year disappointed analysts, despite predicting a healthy hike. Actavis has forecast EPS of $7.70-$8.10 on revenues of $8.10 billion.