Pharma firm predicts profit levels to grow significantly

A Shannon-based pharmaceutical firm, UCB Manufacturing Ireland Ltd is forecasting significant levels of profits from 2014 onwards.

The firm made the statement in its 2013 accounts that show that pre-tax losses at the Belgian-owned firm increased by 53% from €63.99m to €97.7m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The firm, formerly Schwarz Pharma Ltd, recorded the increased losses as revenues declined by 36% from €167.7m to €107.8m.

A note attached to the accounts states that the directors have prepared a 10-year plan which forecasts significant levels of profits arising from 2014 onwards.

The directors state that Neupro — used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome — which was approved and launched in the US market in 2012, “is forecast to contribute substantially to future profitability”.

The numbers employed by the firm last year declined from 128 to 122.

According to the directors’ report, turnover fell in 2013 due primarily to a ‘once-off’ milestone receipt in 2012 for Neupro and also the discontinuance of a product line from the start of 2013 which also reduced revenues in the year.

The report states: “Otherwise, revenues are in line with minor fluctuations from 2012.”

Neupro, used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, is a skin patch which provides continuous drug delivery and has proven efficacy for every stage of Parkinson’s disease.

The hefty losses at the firm last year arose from €133.6m operating expenses.

This contributed to an operating loss of €95.9m and net interest payments contributed to a pre-tax loss of €97.7m.

However, the firm benefited from a €31.76m tax credit and this resulted in a post-tax loss of €65.96m.

A breakdown of the firm’s revenues show that €101m of revenues were recorded in the EU with €6.83m in the US.

At the end of last December, the firm had shareholder funds totalling €59.9m.

The firm’s staff costs last year totalled €10.14m with the breakdown of staff numbers showing 44 in administration; 36 in production; 29 in quality (including R&D) and 13 in maintenance.


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