Belgium's UCB raises 2019 forecasts after net sales beat in fourth quarter

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Belgian drug, chemical, and plastics group UCB is seen at the entrance of the company's headquarters in Brussels March 2, 2010. REUTERS/Yves Herman

(Reuters) - Belgian drugmaker UCB UCB.BR raised its revenue and earnings per share guidance for 2019 on Friday, helped by better-than-expected net sales due to strong demand for its Cimzia and Vimpat drugs in the fourth quarter.

Full-year revenue is expected now at about 4.9 billion euros (4.2 billion pounds), above the previously expected range of 4.6–4.7 billion euros, and UCB targets now EPS higher than 4.80 euro, it said in a statement.

The company, which now also sees recurring core profit at least at the upper end of its range of 27-29%, said it funded additional marketing activities to optimize the growth opportunity.

Reporting by Pawel Goraj