Actelion flags possible mid-year guidance upgrade, Q1 beats poll

ZURICH, April 17 Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:14am EDT

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ZURICH, April 17 (Reuters) - Actelion, Europe's biggest biotech company, signalled it might raise its guidance for earnings growth at mid year as it posted first-quarter earnings that beat expectations.

The Swiss company reported an 8 percent rise in first-quarter product sales to 469 billion Swiss francs ($531.99 billion), generating net profit of 128 million francs, up 30 percent on the year.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast product sales of 435 million and net profit of 98.5 million.

"Based on this good start to the year, Actelion will be well positioned to review its guidance for core earnings growth by mid-year," said Chief Executive Jean-Paul Clozel in a statement on Thursday. ($1 = 0.8816 Swiss Francs) (Reporting by Caroline Copley)

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