Lundbeck posts 9-percent rise in Q1 sales; annual guidance maintained due to "uncertainty"

Lundbeck announced Tuesday that first-quarter sales climbed 9 percent year-over-year to 4.6 billion Danish kroner ($734 million), primarily driven by Brintellix/Trintellix, Onfi and Rexulti. Net income in the three-month period reached 1.2 billion kroner ($191 million), up from 587 million kroner ($94 million) in the prior-year quarter.  

Interim CEO Anders Götzsche remarked "I am really pleased with the performance," adding "we have realised solid revenue growth even considering headwind from exchange rates and generic erosion." Lundbeck is yet to name a permanent chief executive after CEO Kåre Schultz departed last year to take the helm at Teva.  

In the three-month period, Lundbeck's revenue in North America improved by 4 percent to 2.6 billion kroner ($414 million), with sales in international markets falling 5 percent to 941 million kroner ($150 million). Lundbeck recorded 745 million kroner ($119 million) in revenue in Europe, reflecting year-on-year growth of 5 percent.  

Concerning individual products, combined revenue from Brintellix/Trintellix jumped 25 percent to 467 million kroner ($74 million). Earlier this month, the FDA updated the label of the drug to include data demonstrating improvement in processing speed (for related analysis, see ViewPoints: Lundbeck's hard work on Trintellix pays off – with regulators anyway).  

In addition, sales of Onfi jumped 27 percent year-on-year to 903 million kroner ($144 million), with revenue from Rexulti increasing 32 percent to 369 million kroner ($59 million). Meanwhile, revenue from Sabril fell 10 percent to 341 million kroner ($54 million), while sales of Xenazine plunged 56 percent to 112 million kroner ($18 million).  

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For the full year, Lundbeck reaffirmed its guidance, with revenue expected to be in the range of 17.2 billion kroner ($2.7 billion) to 18 billion kroner ($2.9 billion), on earnings of between 4.8 billion kroner ($765 million) and 5.2 billion kroner ($829 million). "The uncertainty remains, if not, we would have changed our guidance," Gotzsche commented, highlighting generic competition for Xenazine and Sabril.  

Gotzsche also stated that Lundbeck does not expect Takeda's agreement to purchase Shire to affect its partnership focused on the development of treatments for depression.

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