* Expects mid single digit core earnings growth in 2012
* Sees flat core earnings in 2013, growth from 2014
ZURICH Jan 8 Actelion, Europe's
biggest biotech company, is sticking to its forecast for core
earnings to return to growth from 2014 as cost cuts and a new
heart and lung treatment offset declining sales of its main
The Swiss firm expects flat core earnings in local
currencies in 2013 as its top-selling heart and lung drug
Tracleer faces growing competition, it reiterated on Tuesday in
slides to be presented at a JP Morgan Healthcare Conference
later in the day.
Actelion has seen its future brighten over the past year
after macitentan, its replacement for Tracleer, beat
expectations in a clinical trial.
The firm also raised its 2012 earnings view twice last year
after cost cuts helped improve profitability.
Actelion expects product sales to fall by a low single digit
percentage and for core earnings to grow by a mid single digit
in 2012, it said in the presentation published on its website.
After returning to earnings growth in 2014, the company
expects double digit percentage growth in 2015, it added.
"In 2013, and the years to come, Actelion will realise the
value it has created from innovation in our labs," Chief
Executive Jean-Paul Clozel said in a statement.
The company is awaiting decisions from European and U.S.
regulators on macitentan, which it plans to market under the
Actelion also said it had bought back 383.4 million Swiss
francs ($415.5 million) worth of shares by the end of 2012 in an
accelerated 800 million franc share repurchase programme.
($1 = 0.9228 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Mark Potter)