February 7, 2018 / 7:59 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Lundbeck's Q4 operating profit falls short of expectations

(Adds details, background, CEO quote)

By Teis Jensen

COPENHAGEN, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker Lundbeck posted weaker than expected fourth quarter operating profit and gave a broad range for its 2018 financial guidance because of a range of uncertainties.

The company, which makes medicine for psychiatric and neurological disorders, is reliant on its more recently launched drugs to make up for declining sales of older drugs whose patents have expired and face generic competition.

“The growth in sales of key products is expected to exceed the turnover we lose on older products due to generic competition,” Chief Financial Officer Anders Gotzsche, who is also interim chief executive, said in a statement.

The company has been looking for a new permanent chief executive since Israel’s Teva poached Kare Schultz last September.

Lundbeck expects revenue of 17.2-18.0 billion crowns in 2018, compared with the 17.86 billion forecast by analysts, and an operating profit of 4.8-5.2 billion crowns, compared with the 4.85 billion forecast in a Reuters’ poll.

Fourth-quarter operating profit came in at 932 million Danish crowns ($155.2 million), undershooting the 1.05 billion expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. ($1 = 6.0054 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Teis Jensen; editing by Louise Heavens/Keith Weir)

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