* FY earnings rise 12 pct to come in at top of range
* Sees strong product sales and earnings growth in 2017
* Shares rise 6 pct
(Adds CEO comments, analyst reaction, shares)
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, Feb 16 Pharmaceuticals group Shire
on Thursday said it was extremely optimistic about
long-term growth after reporting a 12 percent rise in earnings
for the past year in which it made its largest ever acquisition.
Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov said Shire had delivered
record product sales and earnings in a year when it bought
haemophilia drugs company Baxalta for $32 billion and launched a
new medicine for dry eye disease.
He said sales in two of its biggest franchises - rare
diseases and hyperactivity - rose by 14 percent in 2016, and he
was confident the company would generate strong top and bottom
line growth in 2017.
Total product sales would rise to $14.5-14.8 billion this
year, up from $10.9 billion, Shire said, and earnings per share
would rise to $14.60-$15.20.
The London-listed company posted non-GAAP diluted earnings
per share of $13.10, right at the top of its guidance, on
revenue up 78 percent to $11.4 billion.
Its shares, which have drifted 15 percent down from 12-month
highs in September on worries about drugs pricing pressure, rose
as much as 6 percent on Friday, in response to the company's
They were trading up 5.6 percent at 48.44 pounds at 1434 GMT
on Thursday, topping the FTSE 100 index.
Analysts at Liberum, who have a "buy" rating on Shire, said
its guidance would be taken well, and a recent under performance
of the shares should reverse.
The company produced a stronger result in haematology in the
final quarter after sales disappointed in the third, which the
company said was down to the timing of orders.
Ornskov said he was "very optimistic" about the haematology
franchise, although he said it "may take a little bit of time"
to accelerate growth to the level he wanted.
Pharmaceutical shares have been hit by political pressure on
drugs pricing, highlighted by U.S. President Donald Trump's
comment last month the pharmaceutical industry had been "getting
away with murder."
Ornskov said Shire was used to demonstrating the clear value
of its drugs in terms of the impact they brought to patients.
"Do we have to continue to highly justify our prices to
outcomes? Yes," he said. "But I feel very good about the
products we have in our portfolio and our pipeline that we will
be able to continue to do that."
(Editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman)