Shire confident on faster earnings growth in 2013

LONDON Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:16am EST

LONDON Feb 14 (Reuters) - Shire, the London-listed specialty pharmaceutical company, posted a 4 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, just shy of average market expectations, and said it was confident on its 2013 growth prospects.

Shire's focus on niche drug areas like hyperactivity and rare diseases has sheltered it from the patent expiries and pricing pressures in Europe that have hurt its bigger rivals.

In the last set of results before chief executive Angus Russell hands over to Flemming Ornskov at the end of April, the company reported fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings per ADS of $1.58 on revenue up 5 percent to $1.2 billion.

Shire said it expected earnings growth to accelerate in 2013, in line with current market expectations.

Analysts expect the company to report non-GAAP earnings per ADS of $6.72 in 2013, 10 percent up on their expectations for 2012, according to a company-compiled consensus.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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