Shire sees strong earnings growth in 2014

LONDON Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:15am EST

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LONDON Feb 13 (Reuters) - Pharmaceutical group Shire said its strong growth would continue this year after soundly beating market expectations for its fourth quarter, with a 36 percent rise in earnings.

The company, which makes drugs for hyperactivity and to treat rare diseases, posted fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings per ADS of $2.26 on revenue up 12 percent to $1.33 billion.

Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov has made a raft of changes to step up earnings growth since he started last April, including simplifying operations, cutting costs and making acquisitions.

He has been rewarded with a 50 percent rise in the group's share price in the last 12 months, hitting a record 3,180 pence earlier on Thursday.

The company said it expected earnings in 2014 to grow at a similar level to the 23 percent it recorded in 2013.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.3 billion and earnings, in its preferred measure of non-GAAP EPS-ADS, of $2.02, according to a company-compiled poll of 19 brokers.

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