Actelion first-quarter net profit beats expectations

ZURICH, April 16 Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:17am EDT

ZURICH, April 16 (Reuters) - Europe's largest biotech company Actelion said it expected to publish an interim analysis of late-stage data for its heart and lung drug selexipag in coming weeks, as net profit in the first-quarter beat expectations.

Net profit more than doubled in the first quarter to 97.9 million Swiss francs ($105.29 million), after last year's profit was dragged down by one-time factors. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast net profit of 76.4 million francs on average.

Sales of its pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) best-seller Tracleer rose 4 percent in local currencies to 375 million francs, driven by an increase in volumes and more favorable pricing in the United States. ($1 = 0.9298 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Caroline Copley)