Actelion May Raise 2013 Profit Forecast as It Develops Opsumit

Actelion Ltd. (ATLN), the Swiss drugmaker that gets almost all its sales from a treatment for a rare lung disease, reported first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates and said it may raise its full-year forecast.

Operating income jumped to 124 million Swiss francs ($133 million) from 67.1 million francs a year earlier, Allschwil, Switzerland-based Actelion said in a statement today. Analysts forecast operating income of 92 million francs, the average of nine estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The results show the company is keeping a promise to investors to maximize profitability while it develops new treatments such as Opsumit, a successor to the Tracleer treatment that accounts for 87 percent of sales and starts to lose patent protection in 2016. The company forecast in February that 2013 “core” profit excluding currency shifts will be at the same level as last year, with single-digit growth in 2014 and double-digit growth by 2015.

“We will carefully look at guidance for the full year as it is possible that some of the forecasted profit growth for 2014 could be brought forward into this year,” Chief Financial Officer Andrew Oakley said in the statement.

Actelion shares have climbed 62 percent in the past year, including reinvested dividends, compared with a 31 percent advance in the benchmark Swiss Market Index.

The company said it expects to complete an 800 million- franc share buyback this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at sbennett9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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