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UPDATE 1-Drugmaker Sobi Q4 core profit, outlook lags expectations
February 16, 2017 / 8:44 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Drugmaker Sobi Q4 core profit, outlook lags expectations

(Adds CEO comments, shares, background, details)

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Rare-disease drug maker Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) reported on Thursday a smaller increase than expected in fourth-quarter core profit and guided for smaller profit growth in 2017 than expected, sending shares lower.

* Q4 EBITA 210 mln SEK ($23.6 mln) vs year-ago 90 mln and Reuters poll forecast 271 mln

* Sobi raised its 2016 outlook in October pointing to strong performance across the portfolio and an earlier launch for haemophilia drug Alprolix

* Q4 sales of haemophilia drugs Elocta and Alprolix, which were launched 2016 and are sold by partner Biogen, were 135 mln and 39 mln SEK respectively. Sales of key product Orfadin shrank due to the approval in Canada of a generic version

* Proposed no dividend for 2016, CEO Geoffrey McDonough told reporters would be premature to pay dividend for 2017

* Said sees 2017 revenues of 5.8-6.0 bln SEK, gross margin 66-68 pct, EBITA 1.6-1.7 bln. The revenue and EBITA guidance are below analysts’ mean estimates from before Thursday’s Q4 report, for 6.2 bln and 2.2 bln respectively

* Shares down 2.7 pct at 0820 GMT taking YTD growth to 6 pct

* Says in separate statement is expanding haemophilia B development portfolio by adding rFIXFc-XTEN to its collaboration agreement with Bioverativ

* Sobi announced Feb. 3 it is in talks with a private equity firm over a possible sale of its Partner Products unit excluding Sobi’s two largest products, Kineret and Orfadin

* CEO told reporters there is broad interest in Partner Products’ distribution platform

* Sobi seeking new CEO after announced in Jan current U.S.-based CEO Geoffrey McDonough to leave in July due need for more management attention to European business

* Sobi focuses on haemophilia, inflammation and genetic and metabolic diseases, with roughly half of sales in Europe

$1 = 8.9802 Swedish crowns Reporting By Anna Ringstrom, editing by Johannes Hellstrom

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