Publicado 28/02/2019 20:05:55 +01:00CET
- Comunicado -

UCB Full Year Report 2018: 2018 Marks the Fifth Consecutive Year of Profitable Growth, Intensifying Investment in UCB's

EUR million FY 2018 FY 2017 Act CER U.S. 109 63 72% 80% Europe 29 22 32% 33% International markets 4 1 > 100% > 100% Total Briviact(R) 142 87 63% 70%

Neupro (rotigotine), the patch for Parkinson's disease, reported net sales of EUR 321 million. Neupro has reached its peak sales and is expected to mature in its lifecycle going forward.

EUR million FY 2018 FY 2017 Act CER U.S. 101 96 5% 10% Europe 174 168 3% 4% International markets 46 50 -7% -4% Total Neupro(R) 321 314 2% 4%

Revenue and net sales in 2018 reached EUR 4 632 million (+2%; +5% at constant exchange rates (CER)) and EUR 4 412 million (+5%; +8% CER) respectively. This growth was especially driven by the continued performance of UCB's core products. Royalty income and fees decreased to EUR 92 million from EUR 108 million. Other revenue reached EUR 128 million from EUR 240 million in 2017, due to the one-time other revenue in 2017 of EUR 56 million for out-licensing of the over-the-counter allergy drug Xyzal() (levoceterizine) in the U.S.

Gross profit went up to EUR 3 434 million (+3%) reflecting an improved gross margin of 74.1% from 73.5%.

Operating expenses went up to EUR 2 329 million (+6%; +8% CER) due to 3% higher marketing and selling expenses of EUR 964 million and 10% higher research and development (R&D) expenses of EUR 1 160 million, reflecting a R&D ratio of 25%, compensated by 6% lower general and administrative expenses of EUR 180 million. This resulted in an increased operating expense ratio (in relation to revenue) of 50.3% up from 48.6%.

Underlying profitability - rEBITDA(2)- reached EUR 1 398 million after EUR 1 375 million (+2%; +5% CER) driven by the improved gross margin compensating higher marketing and selling and higher R&D expenses. The recurring EBITDA ratio (in % of revenue) surpassed for the second year in a row the 30%-mark, namely 30.2%, after 30.4% in 2017.

Non--recurring income was EUR 4 million due to gain on disposals from divestitures of UCB's non-core assets after expenses of EUR 43 million in 2017 relating to restructuring and litigation.

Net financial expenses decreased to EUR 93 million from EUR 99 million.

Income taxexpenses were EUR 200 million, down from EUR 218 million. The average effective tax rate on recurring activities was 19.7% - driven by R&D incentives - compared to 22.1% in 2017.

Profit of the Group amounted to EUR 823 million (from EUR 771 million) of which EUR 800 (+6%; +10% CER) million is attributable to the UCB shareholders and EUR 23 million to non-controlling interests.

Core earnings per share, which reflect profit attributable to UCB shareholders, adjusted for the after-tax impact of non-recurring items, the financial one-offs, the after-tax contribution from discontinued operations and the net amortization of intangibles linked to sales, reached EUR 4.78 (-1%; +3% CER) based on 188 million weighted average shares outstanding.

Dividend - the Board of directors of UCB proposes a dividend of EUR1.21 per share (gross; +2.5%).

Financial outlook 2019 and updated peak sales for Cimzia() and Vimpat() - 2019 revenue is expected in the range of EUR 4.6-4.7 billion - thanks to core product growth. Driven by higher R&D investments into UCB's strong pipeline, recurring EBITDA is expected in the range of 27% - 29% of revenue. Core earnings per share are therefore expected in the range of EUR 4.40 - 4.80 based on an average of 188 million shares outstanding.

UCB is updating the peak sales guidance for its core products Cimzia() and Vimpat(): Cimzia is expected to reach EUR 1.7 billion by 2024 and Vimpat should reach 1.4 billion by 2022. Expected peak sales for Briviact (EUR 600 million by 2026) remain unchanged. Neupro() has reached its peak sales in 2018 and is expected to mature in its lifecycle going forward. While showing good growth in international markets, global net sales of Keppra() are continuing to mature.

FY 2018 - Financial highlightsFind the FY financial reports on UCB website: []