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Solid financial performance; new mid-term growth engine instilled by the CEO

  • 12 Jan 17

Ipsen reported yet another strong quarter. The revenue for Q3 FY16 (at CER unless specified otherwise) increased by 12.2% (vs Q2 16: +14.5%), fuelled by strong growth in the speciality care ‘SC’ segment (+17.8% vs Q2 16: +18.6%; accounts for c.82% of Q3 16 sales). Within the segment, Somatuline was the largest growth contributor (+34.1% vs Q2 16: +37.4%; accounts for c.35% of Q3 16 sales), and once again drove the robust volume growth and favourable pricing trend in the North America. Moreover, the good overall performance in Europe (notably Germany, France, and the UK) further underpinned the sales of the drug. The impressive performance continued for ‘Decapeptyl’ (+6.3% vs Q2 16: +6.7%; accounts for c.22% of Q3 16 sales), aided by a strong volume uptick in Europe. Growth for Dysport decelerated to +9.3% (vs Q2 16: +12.2%; accounts for c.19% of Q3 16 sales) as the solid performance in the US aesthetics market was slightly offset by volume declines in Brazil and Russia. The dismal performance continued in the primary care ‘PC’ segment (-7.5% vs Q2 16: -0.1%; accounts for c.18% of Q3 16 sales), mainly due to the slower ramp-up of the new commercial strategy in China for Smecta (-1% vs Q2 16: +1.7%; accounts for c.6% of Q3 16 sales). Moreover, the challenging market environment for Tanakan in Russia and for Forlax in Algeria, suppressed further growth in the segment. Geographically, revenue was up 6% in major western European countries (vs Q2 16: +9.2%; accounts for c.35% of Q3 16 sales) and +4.4% in other European countries (vs Q2 16: +12.2%; accounts for c.21% of Q3 16 sales). Sales in North America increased by 72% (vs Q2 16: +75.3%; accounts for c.18% of Q3 16 sales), driven by the solid performance of key drugs – Somatuline and Dysport. ROW was up 1.8% (Q2 16: +1.1%; accounts for c.26% of Q3 16 sales). The total reported revenue grew by 10.2% (vs Q2 16: +10.5%), reflecting a -2% currency effect. Management has raised the FY16 revenue guidance for the SC business (+15% vs earlier guidance of +12%) subsequent to the strong performance witnessed in 9M FY16. Although the revenue guidance for the PC business has been lowered to c.-5% (vs slight growth earlier), Ipsen’s core operating margin guidance has been revised upwards by 100bp (vs earlier guidance). In August 2016, the US FDA approved Dysport for the treatment of paediatric lower limb (PLL) spasticity and, in September 2016, the European Commission approved cabometyx as a second line of treatment for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Moreover, in October 2016, Ipsen (along with partner Exelixis) announced positive clinical data from its ‘Cabosun’ phase 2 trial (for use of Cabometyx in the frontline setting for RCC). In January 2017, Ipsen acquired US commercialisation rights for oncology drug ‘Onivyde’, from Merrimack Pharma. The drug is approved as a second-line of treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer and is the only FDA approved drug in this indication (post gemcitabine-based therapy). The deal (expected to close in Q1 17) involves payment of $575m in cash and up to $450m in additional milestones, contingent upon the approval of Onivyde for other potential indications in the US.