Dublin-based Shire Pharmaceuticals sees earnings rise 14%

Firm planning to create 150 new jobs in State reports product sales up 110% to $3.4bn

Earnings at Dublin-headquartered Shire Pharmaceuticals rose 14 per cent year on year during the first quarter of 2017 due to higher sales of rare disease drugs and demand for its new dry eye medicine.

The company is involved in the research, development and marketing of prescription medicines. It announced plans last month to take on 150 extra people in the Republic as it officially opened a new headquarters in Dublin.

In first-quarter results for 2017, the company said product sales had increased 110 per cent to $3.4 billion from $1.6 billion during the same period last year. This was primarily due to including $1.6 billion worth of legacy Baxalta sales.

Shire acquired Baxalta, which was a US rival, in a so-called mega-merger worth about $32 billion (€29 billion) last year. The deal went ahead despite US efforts to clamp down on inversion transactions which allow companies to relocate for tax purposes.


Manufacturing activities

Product sales excluding legacy Baxalta increased 11 per cent primarily due to growth from Shire’s genetic diseases and internal medicine franchises, up 14 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, as well as sales from its ophthalmology franchise of $39 million.

Royalties and other revenues increased 95 per cent to $160 million, as the first quarter benefited from additional revenue acquired with Baxalta, primarily related to contract manufacturing activities.

Operating income increased 82 per cent to $1.4 billion from $797 million last year, primarily due to including Baxalta’s operating income and higher revenue from legacy Shire products.

The firm’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margin as a percentage of total revenues decreased to 44 per cent from 49 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

Earnings per share increased 14 per cent to $3.63 from $3.19 for the same period last year, as higher operating income more than offset the impact of additional shares issued for the Baxalta transaction.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter