February 27, 2020 / 7:53 AM / a month ago

Hikma sees 2020 sales growth after profit beats view on newer drugs

(Reuters) - Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK.L) on Thursday forecast sales growth this year after it surpassed analysts’ expectations for annual operating profit and revenue in 2019, boosted by higher demand for its injectable treatments and newly launched drugs.

The company expects revenue from its injectables division to grow in the low to mid-single digits and its generics unit to be between $700 million and $750 million. Sales for its branded segment is expected to grow by mid-single digits at constant currency.

Hikma, which makes and markets a broad range of branded and non-branded generic medicines, has been helped by newer launches as they help cushion drug pricing pressure in the United States - its biggest market.

Overall core sales grew 6% to $2.20 billion, while core operating profit rose 10% for the year ended Dec. 31, Hikma said. The company reported a 5% rise in U.S. sales and strong growth across its segments. U.S. sales made up 61% of total core revenue.

Analysts on average were expecting core revenue of $2.18 billion, according to a company compiled consensus here

Hikma also said it currently does not anticipate any material impact to its business from the coronavirus outbreak as it does not have extensive operations or manufacturing in China. It said it was monitoring the “complex situation”.

The firm's only unit here in China, Hubei Haosun Pharmaceutical, is in the Hubei province, the Chinese district at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

However, governments are ramping up measures as the number of infections outside China surpassed those inside the country for the first time, stoking fears about a global pandemic.

“During a challenging year for the industry, we delivered strong financial performance and made important progress on our strategic objectives, including strengthening our operations,” Chief Executive Siggi Olafsson said.

(This story corrects to say U.S. sales rose 5%, not 61%, and removes reference to double-digit growth across segments in paragraph four)

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Bernard Orr

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