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UPDATE 1-Hikma full-year profit doubles on strong doxycycline sales
March 12, 2014 / 9:26 AM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Hikma full-year profit doubles on strong doxycycline sales

* Sees 2014 revenue growth of 5 pct

* Expects injectibles revenue to rise 20 percent this year

* Sees generics revenue of around $170 million in 2014

* FY 2013 revenue rises 23 pct to $1.37 bln

* To pay final div of $0.13/shr, special div of $0.04/share

March 12 (Reuters) - Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc’s full-year profit more than doubled, helped by strong demand and higher prices for the antibiotic doxycycline that is used in the treatment of bacterial infections including Lyme disease.

The Jordanian company, which makes and markets branded and non-branded generics and injectibles, said it expected a 5 percent growth in revenue in the current year.

Hikma, which was founded in Amman in 1978, said its injectibles business is expected to see a 20 percent growth in 2014, but warned that growth in its generics business would be muted this year due to higher competition in the U.S. doxycycline market.

Hikma now expects generics revenue of about $170 million in 2014.

“(The) 2014 guidance appears to us conservative and, given ongoing trading patterns for doxycycline and injectables, very likely to be subject to upward revision,” Citigroup said in a note.

Jefferies analysts said that given Hikma raised its U.S. generics estimates four times in 2013, the company might upgrade its forecast if it continued to do well despite pricing pressure.

Hikma reported an adjusted profit attributable to shareholders of $274 million compared with $120 million a year earlier.

Revenue for the year ended Dec. 31 rose 23 percent to $1.37 billion, in line with its own estimate last month.

Hikma, which has grown over the past year due to a shortage of doxycycline in the United States, said generics revenue rose 158 percent to $268 million for the year.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had said that there was a scarcity of doxycycline in the country due to domestic manufacturing issues, adding that an acute shortage of substitutes was driving demand for the antibiotic. ()

Doxycycline is used to treat bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea and chlamydia as well as the tick-borne illness Lyme disease. The drug is also used to prevent malaria.

The antibiotic was taken off the shortage list last October with no supply issues anticipated, according to the FDA website. ()

The company said it would pay a final dividend of 13 cents per share, taking the total dividend to 20 cents per share. It also declared a special dividend of 4 cents per share, taking the total special dividend in 2013 to 7 cents.

Hikma paid a total dividend of 16 cents in 2012.

Shares in the company rose 2 percent to 1503 pence at 0911 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The stock was the top opercentage gainer on the FTSE-250 midcap index.

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