May 9, 2019 / 5:18 AM / 5 months ago

Japanese drugmaker Shionogi sees record profit on royalty income

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese drugmaker Shionogi & Co Ltd forecast a 6.1 percent jump in full-year operating profit to what would be its fifth straight record high, underpinned by strong royalty income from its HIV drugs.

The company forecast profit for the year through March 2020 at 147 billion yen ($1.34 billion), versus 138.5 billion yen in the previous year. The outlook compares with an average estimate of 138.4 billion yen from 12 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

In the fourth quarter ended March, Shionogi posted 41.1 billion yen in operating profit, up more than 60 percent from a year earlier, due to strong sales of products, such as antidepressant Cymbalta and single-dose flu drug Xofluza.

Royalty income hit a record 180.3 billion yen, accounting for about 50 percent of total revenue last year.

Three human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs, which Shionogi licensed out to UK-based pharmaceutical company ViiV Healthcare, generated 124.4 billion yen in royalties.

The company expects the royalty-supporting trend to continue until their patents expire around 2030.

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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