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Market Overview

UCB Half Year Report 2019: UCB's Strong Performance Enables Continued Investment Into Future Growth Drivers


BRUSSELS, July 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

– Regulated information –

  • Revenue reached € 2.3 billion (+2%, +4% CER1)
    net sales increased to € 2.2 billion (+3%, +5% CER – adjusted2 +11%, +7% CER)
  • Underlying profitability (rEBITDA3) was € 724 million (-9%, -1% CER) or a ratio of 31%
  • R&D update: Vimpat® with positive phase 3 results in PGTCS; four new phase 3 programs started: bimekizumab in psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis; padsevonil in in drug-resistant focal epilepsy; rozanolixizumab in myasthenia gravis
  • Financial outlook for 2019 confirmed: Revenue expected to reach € 4.6 - 4.7 billion, recurring EBITDA3 should reach 27 - 29% of revenue, Core EPS of € 4.40 - 4.80 expected
  • CFO transition in 2020

"The strong financial performance in the first six months 2019 enables us as planned to accelerate our investments into future growth drivers," said Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO UCB. "Our ambition is to create patient value for specific populations. From our promising late-stage pipeline we had already two product approvals and started four new phase 3 programs. In this context, we are confirming our financial outlook for the full year 2019, while we also reconfirm our commitment to competitive profitability in the mid-term."

Core product net sales


« Core product net sales


Revenue for the first six months of 2019 reached € 2.3 billion (+2%; +4% at CER).
Net sales went up by 3% to € 2.2 billion (+5% CER), driven by the continued growth of UCB's core products.

Underlying profitability (rEBITDA3) reached € 724 million (-9%; -1% CER) due to higher operating expenses - reflecting the investments into the future of UCB, namely into product launches and product development.

Profit of the Group was to € 437 million of which € 411 million (-24%; -14% CER) is attributable to the UCB shareholders.

Core earnings per share4 were € 2.42 after € 3.09.

UCB's financial results HY 2019


€ million

2019 HY

2018 HY




2 323

2 269



Net sales

2 219

2 146








Number of shares (m)




Core EPS4 (€)






R&D update


In January 2019, Vimpat® (lacosamide) was approved in Japan for the treatment of partial onset seizures in children 4 years of age and older. In addition, two new formulations were approved: IV (intravenous) and dry syrup.

In June, the Vimpat® development program for the adjunctive treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures (PGTCS) in study participants 4 years of age and older achieved statistically significant positive results for both its primary (time to second seizure) and secondary efficacy (seizure freedom) endpoints. The novel primary endpoint "time-to-second-seizure" reduced placebo-exposure of patients substantially. Submissions of this new indication are planned in the first half 2020 to multiple regulatory agencies.In March, UCB started an international (U.S., EU, Japan and China) phase 3 study with padsevonil in drug-resistant focal epilepsy patients. First headline results are expected in H2 2021 and will complement those from the ongoing Phase 2b, expected in H1 2020. Padsevonil is an innovative drug purposely designed with a novel dual mechanism of action to address the needs of uncontrolled patients.

In May, Nayzilam® (midazolam) nasal spray was approved in the U.S. to treat intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity in people living with epilepsy. UCB expects to make the treatment available to patients in the coming months. In March, UCB started as planned a phase 2, proof-of concept, study with its novel, subcutaneous FcRn (neonatal Fc receptor) monoclonal antibody, rozanolixizumab, in patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). First headline results are expected in H1 2021.

In June, UCB started as scheduled the confirmatory study (phase 3) with rozanolixizumab in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). First headline results are expected in H1 2021.


In March, UCB announced the approval of Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol) in the U.S. to include a new indication for the treatment of adults with active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) with objective signs of inflammation.

In July and in China, Cimzia® was approved in combination with methotrexate for the treatment of moderate to severe, active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients.

In March and April, the second and the third phase 3 program with bimekizumab - in psoriatic arthritis and in axial Spondyloarthitis - were initiated, slightly earlier than planned. First topline results are expected at the end of 2021.

In June, UCB and its partner Biogen initiated preparations for a phase 3 program with dapirolizumab pegol in patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) despite standard-of-care treatment. The program is expected to start in H1 2020. This decision is based on the promising results of the phase 2b clinical trial, of which interim results were presented at EULAR in June 2019.


Early January 2019, UCB and Amgen announced the approval of Evenity® (romosozumab) in Japan. Evenity® is approved to reduce the risk of fractures and increase bone mineral density in men and post-menopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk of fracture.

In April, Evenity® was approved in the U.S. for the treatment of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women at high risk for fracture.

In May, Evenity® was approved in South Korea and in June in Canada and Australia.

In June, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency adopted a negative opinion for romosozumab. The companies seek the re-examination of the CHMP opinion.

Net sales break-down by core product5


Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol) for patients living with autoimmune and inflammatory TNF mediated diseases, net sales went up to € 782 million, driven by continued, sustainable growth in all regions. Growth is also driven by new patient populations like women in child bearing age and people living with psoriasis.


€ million

2019 HY

2018 HY













International markets





Total Cimzia®






Neurology: UCB's epilepsy franchise reached net sales of € 1.25 billion, a plus of 12%.

Vimpat® (lacosamide), with net sales of € 622 million, shows continued strong growth in all regions thanks to reaching more and more people living with epilepsy.


€ million

2019 HY

2018 HY













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