Shire sees slowdown in earnings growth as generic rivals bite
London: Shire, which is splitting its rare disease and hyperactivity drugs into two units, said 2018 sales would grow in mid-single digits and profits would rise at an even slower pace, after 2017 earnings per share climbed 16 percent.
The London-listed pharmaceuticals firm reported full-year revenue on Wednesday of $15.16 billion (10.94 billion pounds), up 33 percent, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per American Depositary Share of $15.15 that came in towards the top of its guidance.
But Shire said earnings in the current year would be between $14.90 and $15.50, which at the midpoint is around 5 percent lower than consensus.
Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov said earnings growth would be held back by costs incurred from the start-up of a new U.S plasma manufacturing site, greater competition from generic drugs and lower royalties.
Shares in Shire were trading down 1.2 percent at 31.42 pounds at 1311 GMT, as analyst said the guidance was weak.
The company reduced its medium-term growth target in January, when it said it would split into two, following the entry into the market of a rival to its ulcerative colitis drug Lialda and increased competition in its haemophilia franchise.
Ornskov had said performance would be improved by creating two separate units, one focusing on small molecule pills that treat conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the other on complex biologics for rare diseases.
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