A promising start into 2008 for Nycomed

NycomedIn the first quarter of 2008, Nycomed’s adjusted EBITDA increased by 6.2% to € 304.0 million compared to € 286.3 million in the first quarter of 2007, benefiting from the cost decreasing effects of last year's restructuring. Most of Nycomed's markets and key products have performed well for the first quarter of 2008 and provided a counterweight to the decreasing sales of Pantoprazole in the US.

Adjusting for the effects of at-risk launches of generic Pantoprazole in the US, total net turnover increased by 3.1% for the first quarter of 2008 compared to the first quarter of 2007. Total net turnover decreased by 5.0% to € 830.2 million compared to € 873.5 million in the first quarter of 2007.

"The first quarter marks the beginning of a challenging year that started in good health. Apart from Pantoprazole in the US, our markets and key products developed very satisfactory," said Håkan Björklund, Nycomed's Chief Executive Officer.

"We have also made good progress in implementing our strategy for future growth. Two major out-licensing deals, the finalisation of the Bradley acquisition, the launch of Omnaris, and our new subsidiary in Venezuela help us to add further growth potential," he added.

Most of Nycomed's markets have performed well and according to expectations for the first quarter of 2008. Sales in Russia/CIS grew by 28.9% (46% in local currency), and sales in the Latin America / South Africa / Canada region also developed very well compared to last year. Sales in export markets showed a strong growth as well.

In Europe, sales in the first quarter decreased by 3.0% compared to the same period 2007. This was due to cost containment measures in several countries, increasing price competition, and the one-time effect of terminating the imaging buiness agreement with Bracco. Adjusting for the imaging effect, net turnover developed very satisfactorily, with Germany and France, Nycomed's two largest European markets, growing in the single digit range. The markets in Eastern Europe show double-digit growth, notably Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Romania. In Greece, net turnover in the first quarter 2008 increased by over 51%, while Romania more than doubled its sales.

In the Latin America, Canada and South Africa region (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and South Africa) total net turnover increased 7.2% compared to the first quarter last year. The growth is mainly related to strong performance from both the Rx and OTC businesses in Brazil, as well as favourable impact from exchange rates. Additionally, sales of Pantoprazole in Canada continued to develop well despite the entry of generics. Sales in Argentina are showing very positive trends as well. With the launch of a new sales and marketing presence in Venezuela, Nycomed will be present in the four biggest Latin American pharmaceutical markets.

In Russia /CIS, Nycomed's fastest growing region, total net turnover increased by 28.9% for the first quarter compared to the same period in 2007. However, adjusting for the unfavourable impact from exchange rates, sales growth was at approximately 46% for the first quarter. Sales developed satisfactorily in Russia and the other states, particularly in the Ukraine which showed strong growth in the first quarter.

Sales of Nycomed US, a specialty business focussing on dermatology and emergency care in the United States declined by 5.7% in the first quarter. Sales for the first quarter of 2008 were positively impacted by sales of Bradley products from closing on 21 February 2008 through the end of March. Adjusting for the unfavourable impact of the US Dollar, sales increased by 6.2%.

For the total International Sales/Export business excluding Australia, product sales increased approximately 20% compared to the first quarter of 2007, which was partly offset by lower royalty income.

Contract production grew by 13.5% to € 18.8 million in the first quarter of 2008 due to increased demand related to our toll manufacturing agreements.

About Nycomed
Nycomed is a privately owned pharmaceutical company that provides medicines for hospitals, specialists and general practitioners, as well as over-the-counter medicines in selected markets.

The company is active in a range of therapeutic areas. Its key products are aimed at gastroenterology, pain management, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases and tissue management. New products are sourced both from our own research and from business partners.

Operating throughout Europe and in fast-growing markets such as Latin America, Russia/CIS and the Asia-Pacific region Nycomed has a presence in about 50 markets worldwide.

The combined group employs over 11,500 people. In 2007, it had annual sales of € 3.5 billion and an adjusted EBITDA of € 1.2 billion.

For more information visit www.nycomed.com.

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