BRUSSELS, Feb 23 (Reuters) - 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 2015. ($1 = 0.9465 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)