May 17, 2019 / 7:06 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Hikma backs annual outlook on demand for its new drugs

(Adds details, background, analyst estimates)

May 17 (Reuters) - Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc on Friday backed its forecast for the full year, boosted by higher demand for its new drugs and generic medicines.

The drugmaker’s injectables division, its largest, has been growing despite increased competition as it expands manufacturing capacity and signs on more partners to widen its pool of offerings.

“Across our three businesses, we are driving good demand for our broad product portfolio and recent product launches,” Chief Executive Officer Siggi Olafsson said, adding that 2019 was “off to a good start.”

New launches have been crucial to reinvigorating Hikma’s generics and injectables units that have been affected by pricing pressures in the United States, from where the company gets more than half its revenue.

Hikma, founded in Jordan in 1978, has also been keeping a tight check on costs and slashed them by 60.4% in 2018.

Jefferies analysts said they were encouraged by the company’s comments on growth across divisions, and said Hikma’s forecast affirmation was not a surprise.

Hikma expects annual revenue from its injectables business to be between $850 million and $900 million and its generics unit to be between $650 million and $700 million.

“Several market commentators had been flagging ongoing tailwinds in the injectables business, and ... were hopeful of an uplift to guidance, or commentary to suggest Hikma might land at the upper end of its guidance range,” Peel Hunt analysts said.

Analysts on average were expecting 2019 revenue of $875.7 million for the injectables business and $680.4 million for generics, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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