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Half-time analysis: UCB outlook for 2018 confirmed

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    As we pass the mid-point of the year, marked by the publication of our half-year financial results, it’s a moment for reflection and looking ahead.

    The key point from our latest financial report is that UCB continues its growth path. Revenue, sales and underlying profitability have all increased in the first six months of 2018. This is driven by the continued growth of our core products.

    Due to the phasing of expenses, operating costs are lower for the first half of the year – marketing and sales expenses are 5% lower, and general and administrative expenses are also 5% lower. This provides scope for investing in future drivers of growth while maintaining our overall forecasts for the year. Research and development (R&D) spending was 5% higher in the first half of the year and we plan to accelerate our investment in R&D in the remaining months of 2018 and beyond. All this means that the financial outlook for the full year is confirmed.

    So, what do we foresee in 2018? 
    We expect continued growth of UCB’s core products, with revenue expected to reach approximately €4.5 - €4.6 billion. Recurring Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization charges (rEBITDA) will be in the range of €1.3 - €1.4 billion. Core earnings per share are expected in the range of € 4.30 – €4.70 based on an average of 188 million shares outstanding.

    For us, and for our investors and partners, UCB’s capacity to set a growth path – and to stick to it – is reassuring. Our core products are, as anticipated, delivering strong sales figures. At the same time, we are managing our expenses well and making investments that will ensure that the company is set for sustainable, competitive growth.

    Now, it’s time for a short half-time break. We look forward to returning soon for a busy second half of 2018.

    As ever, if you have a comment or question on our financial results, please let me know. I would be delighted to hear from you. I wish you a great continuation of the summer.

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