Pharma firm expects 2014 profit return

Shannon-based pharmaceutical firm UCB Manufacturing Ireland Ltd is expected to return to profit in 2014 after recording pre-tax losses of €63.99m last year.

Last year, the success of the firm’s Neupro Parkinson’s drug in the US and milestone payments resulted in revenues at the pharma firm increasing sharply by 86% from €90.2m to €167.7m.

However, operating expenses more than doubling from €70.9m to €166.8m resulted in the firm recording a pre-tax loss of €63.99m. A tax credit of €39.1m resulted in a post tax loss of €24.8m.

The massive hike in operating expenses arose from the launch of Neupro in the US last year – Neupro is used for those patients having Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome.

The returns show that the firm’s US revenues increased 16-fold from €4.5m to €75.9m with European revenues increasing from €85.6m to €90.7m.

The figures that the numbers employed at the firm increased from 118 to 128 last year. A breakdown of the employees shows that there were 46 engaged in production, 36 in quality (R&D); 32 in administration and 14 in administration.

The loss in 2012 that followed the firm recording a profit of €573.7m in 2011 that arose from the firm receiving a €651m credit that related to the waiving of an inter-company debt.

The directors state that they expect the company to be profitable by 2014 and point out that investment in site infrastructure continues with additions to assets and research and development.

The profit last year also takes account of non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs totalling €20m.

Referring to the company’s 2012 losses, the directors state that they have prepared a detailed 10 year plan for the company which forecasts significant levels of profits arising from 2014 onwards.

The note adds: “This 10-year plan has also been approved at group level. The directors expect to have the continued financial support of group if required.

“Accordingly, the directors consider that it is appropriate to prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis.”

The directors’ report states that the company is actively involved in R&D activities which are concentrated on the clinical development and testing of new drugs in the field of neurological disorders.

The figures show that the firm’s staff costs last year increased by 9% from €9.85m to €10.7m.

The filings show that remuneration for directors last year decreased marginally from €449,773 to €446,585.

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