* Q1 op profit 1.5 bln DKK vs forecast 1.0 bln
* One-off payments help boost profit
* Affirms 2013 profit guidance for 1.9-2.4 billion DKK (Adds quotes, details)
COPENHAGEN, May 1 (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker Lundbeck, facing increasing pressure from generic drugs and developing a pipeline of new products, reported a bigger than expected rise in quarterly earnings on Wednesday and stuck to its financial forecasts.
The group said the first quarter earnings were helped by the expansion of its alliance with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd , which generated an upfront payment of 284 million crowns, while the sale of its U.S. portfolio of non-core products brought in 454 million crowns.
That helped operating earnings at the company, whose drugs include treatments for depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, to rise to 1.5 billion ($265.25 million) in the first quarter from a year-ago 882 million. The average forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts was 1.0 billion crowns.
The company is facing pressure from the fact that patents on some of its key products have expired and rival manufacturers are launching their own generic versions of the drugs.
It said that more competition from generic suppliers of its Alzheimer’s disease treatment Ebixa was one of the reasons it stuck to this year’s guidance for revenue to be in a range of 14.4-15.0 billion and operating profit of 1.9-2.4 billion.
Lundbeck is relying on new drugs in its pipeline to offset falling sales of its antidepressant Cipralex, sold as Lexapro by Forest Laboratories in the United States, which has also been coming off patent in various markets.
Its drugs in the pipeline include treatments for schizophrenia, alcohol dependence and depression. ($1 = 5.6549 Danish crowns) (via Stockholm newsroom, reporting by Niklas Pollard, editing by Patrick Lannin)