Northern Ireland-based pharmaceuticals group Galen toasted the addition of a string of new drugs today after third quarter results showed sales had more than doubled.
The group, which was the subject of a short-lived takeover approach last month, said the US launch of its pre-menstrual syndrome treatment Sarafem and a handful of new women’s health products had helped push sales up 117% to $135.7m (€119m).
While Sarafem brought in $21.9m US dollars (€19.2m) in revenues in the third quarter to June 30, three new products acquired from drugs giant Pfizer earlier this year also boosted sales.
The products – hormone replacement therapy line femhrt, and contraceptives Loestrin and Estrostep – contributed sales of $37.1m (€32.6m) in the quarter.
Operating profits soared by 138% to $61.7m (€54.2m) but bottom line pre-tax profits were $39.5m (€34.7m) compared with $109.8m (€96.5m) a year ago when the figures were boosted by the sale of its pharmaceuticals services business.
Shares in the company, which is based at Craigavon, Northern Ireland, rose almost 2% or 11.5p at 620p following the update.
Chief executive Roger Boissonneault said the group had also benefited from the expansion of its sales force, particularly at its US subsidiary Warner Chilcott.
The group added 120 new sales staff in the third quarter, taking its total to 340.
He highlighted the success of Sarafem but added that the contraceptive pill Ovcon – one of its core products – had also seen a strong performance.
Sales of Ovcon were up 18% on last year.
Galen is currently seeking approval for a new version of Ovcon but admits that a copycat version of the drug could potentially be introduced by rivals first.
Nevertheless, Mr Boissonneault said the group’s performance in the next financial year would be in line with expectations.
But he declined to reveal more about the aborted takeover approach last month - thought to have come from US group Barr Laboratories.
While reports have consistently linked Barr to the approach, Galen has refused to specify whom the approach was from.