BRUSSELS Feb 23 Belgian pharmaceutical group
UCB forecast on Thursday revenues and core profit would
continue to grow in 2017 after sales of all of its key drugs
were above analysts' expectations in 2016.
The group said it saw 2017 revenues between 4.25 and 4.35
billion euros ($4.49-$4.60 billion), and a recurring core profit
(REBITDA) between 1.15 and 1.2 billion euros, an increase of up
to 4 and 16 percent respectively on last year.
Polled by Reuters before the results were announced,
analysts had forecast higher 2017 revenues of 4.47 billion
euros, though the average expected core profit of 1.174 billion
falls within the guidance range.
In 2016 core profit rose some 18 percent at constant
exchange rates to 1.03 billion euros ($1.09 billion), slightly
above analysts' estimates.
The group said it would pay a dividend of 1.15 euros per
share, below the market consensus of 1.35, from 1.10 euros for
($1 = 0.9465 euros)
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip