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Actavis sales rise but profits slump as Lipitor effect recedes

Reports first set of results since merger with Watson

Actavis, Paul BisaroGenerics company Actavis - formerly Watson Pharma – reported revenue growth of 13 per cent to $1.75bn in the last three months of 2012 in its first set of results since the merger.

Watson changed its name to Actavis after acquiring the latter company last year in a $5.6bn deal that closed last November and created the world's third-largest generic manufacturer after Teva and Sandoz.

Earnings fell 70 per cent to $28m in the fourth quarter, suffering from comparison with the same period of 2011 when Watson's profits were lifted by an authorised generic deal with Pfizer for its cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor (atorvastatin), which lost patent protection in the US in the same year.

Actavis stopped selling its generic atorvastatin last month because of the "significant decline in the US market for this product in 2012", said Actavis chief financial officer Todd Joyce on the firm's results call.

Overall the results were in line with analysts' expectations, and Actavis chief executive Paul Bisaro (pictured) told investors on a conference call that the new company was "beginning 2013 on a solid commercial and financial foundation, well positioned for sustainable long-term growth".

The combined company launched more than 1,000 products and filed more than 1,500 marketing applications during the course of 2012, said Bisaro.

Notable generic launches in the year included versions of Shire's attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall XR (mixed amphetamine salts), Sanofi's anticoagulant Lovenox (enoxaparin), Sunovion Pharma's Xopenox (levalbuterol) for asthma and Takeda's diabetes treatment Actos (pioglitazone).

The company's speciality brands business did well, with sales up 9 per cent to $132m in the quarter thanks to increased sales of contraceptive Generess Fe and Rapaflo (silodosin) for benign prostatic hyperplasia, as well as the addition of Kadian, a modified-release morphine product attained as part of the Actavis acquisition.

Meanwhile, Actavis looks set to continue on its acquisitive path in 2013, having already snapped up Belgium's Uteron Pharma last month in a $150m deal that boosts its position in contraception and fertility therapies.

For 2013, the company is forecasting that revenues will rise from $5.9bn in 2012 to $8.1bn, while operating earnings will come in at the $1.87-$1.94bn range.

21st February 2013

From: Sales

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