Shire profit edges higher ahead of Takeda sale

FILE PHOTO: Shire branding is seen outside their offices in Dublin, Ireland, April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Shire SHP.L, the London-listed pharmaceutical group being bought by Japan's Takeda 4502.T, reported a 4 percent rise in second-quarter earnings as revenue rose 5 percent to $3.92 billion, just ahead of market expectations.

The company said its outlook for the year, including its oncology franchise that it has separately agreed to sell, was unchanged. Its shares were up 0.5 percent.

Earlier on Tuesday, Takeda said its first-quarter operating profit had halved from a year ago, when it had booked gains from asset sales. It is buying Shire to broaden its drugs portfolio and plug a gap in its late-stage pipeline.

Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov said Shire had continued to deliver on its key priorities of commercial execution, advancing its pipeline and paying down debt in the quarter.

“We drove product sales growth of 6 percent over the prior year period led by the strong performance of our Immunology franchise, continued uptake of our recently launched products, and expansion in international markets,” he said on Tuesday.

Shire reported non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS, its preferred measure, of $3.88 for three months to end-June.

Ornskov said the company would remain “resolutely focused” on execution until its sale closed, which was expected in the first half of 2019 subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

The $62 billion Shire deal, which will send Takeda’s debt levels sharply higher, is still awaiting the nod from regulators in EU, China and elsewhere.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton