Lundbeck has posted an 8% rise in revenues for the fourth quarter, driven by a stronger-than-expected performance from its flagship antidepressant.

Sales came in at 3.38 billion kroner (about $602.7 million), while operating profit rose 1.6% to 326 million kroner. Cipralex (escitalopram) slipped 1% to 1.43 billion kroner, while the US version of the product - sold by Forest Laboratories as Lexapro - climbed 11% to 581 million kroner. The Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa (memantine) also increased 11% to 650 million kroner, while sales of Azilect (rasagiline) for Parkinson's disease rose 14% to 309 million kroner.

Lundbeck's newer products also made gains. Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease posted sales of 242 million kroner, up 41%, while epilepsy drug Sabril (vigabatrin) brought in 77 million kroner, an increase of 41% as well.

Chief executive Ulf Wiinberg said 2011 as a whole "was an excellent year for Lundbeck, with our revenue and earnings higher than ever". He claimed that "we improved our long-term outlook with solid progress in our late-stage pipeline and several important partnerships".

In particular, he highlighted a deal signed in November with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co to develop and sell psychiatric and neuroscience drugs  "which has transformational potential". For 2012, Lundbeck expects revenues of 14.50-15.20 billion kroner, someway down from 2011's total of just over 16 billion kroner.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation will be in the region of 3.00-3.50 billion kroner, down from EBITDA of 4.63 billion kroner last year. Indeed profits are unlikely to grow until 2015, Mr Wiinberg said, as costs will rise on the back of new product launches.