UCB guides for 2014 growth below market expectations

BRUSSELS Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:17am EST

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BRUSSELS Feb 26 (Reuters) - Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB on Wednesday said that core profit should rise by as much as 12 percent in 2014, a figure which remained below market expectations.

UCB, which makes epilepsy drugs and treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, said it expected 2014 core profit to be between 740 and 770 million euros ($1.02 - $1.06 bln), below the 808 million forecast by a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

In 2013, core profit rose 9 percent to 689 million euros ($946.23 million), just below the 693 million expected in a Reuters poll of 12 analysts.

The result was within the range of its recurring core profit guidance of between 680 to 710 million euros.

The group proposed a dividend of 1.04 euros per share, a slight increase from the 1.02 euros paid out last year. ($1 = 0.7282 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Foo Yun Chee)

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