* Q4 op profit 222 mln crowns vs f'cast 480 mln
* Rev 3.85 billion crowns vs f'cast 3.76 bln
* To pay div of 2.00 crowns/shr
(Adds details, analyst comment)
COPENHAGEN, Feb 6 Danish drugmaker Lundbeck
missed fourth-quarter expectations on Wednesday as
higher-than-forecast costs cut into earnings.
The company said it made an operating profit of 222 million
Danish crowns ($40.3 million), less than half the expected 480
million in a Reuters poll and down from 326 million in the same
period the year before.
Revenue reached 3.85 billion crowns, just beating
expectations of 3.76 billion.
"The earnings surprised me ... It is due to costs which are
higher than forecast in the fourth quarter," Sydbank analyst
Soren Hansen said.
"Costs related to sale and product launches, administrative
costs and research and development ... are higher than
expected," Hansen said.
The company said it would pay a dividend of 2.00 crowns per
share and repeated forecasts for this years' revenue to be in a
range of 14.1 billion crowns and 14.7 billion, and operating
profit to be between 1.6 billion and 2.1 billion.
Just last December the company had issued a profit warning
and cut its financial outlook for this year and 2014, on the
back of sluggish European markets and higher costs related to
investment in new products.
It said earnings would stall until 2015 due to cheap generic
competition for its existing drugs, meaning new products will be
vital for future earnings.
The company has been hurt by the negative impact on revenue
from healthcare reforms in Europe and slowing European sales and
Lundbeck is working to find new drugs to replace lost
revenue from products coming off patent protection, such as its
antidepressant Cipralex, which is sold as Lexapro in the United
States and Japan, and Alzheimer's drug Ebixa.
($1 = 5.5139 Danish crowns)
(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by David Holmes)