August 8, 2017 / 6:54 AM / a year ago

Vifor Pharma raises outlook after iron deficiency drug sales surge in H1

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Swiss pharma company Vifor Pharma said it expects double digit growth in sales and core profit this year, faster than previously expected following a strong performance of its main iron deficiency drug in the first half.

The company said on Tuesday that sales and core profit were likely to rise by more than 10 percent in 2017, up from its previous forecast of high single-digit growth for sales and mid-to-high single-digit growth for core profit.

Annual sales of iron deficiency drug Ferinject/Injectafer are now likely to increase in the mid-twenties percentage range, after first-half sales surged 18.7 percent to 193.9 million Swiss francs ($198 million), it said.

Excluding costs to support the launch and ramp-up of its drug Veltassa, designed to treat hyperkalemia, core profit increased 20.2 percent to 119.4 million in the first half of the year, it said. Net sales rose 13.6 percent to 625.7 million.

Hyperkalemia occurs when there are very high levels of potassium in the blood, which can be life-threatening in certain cases.

Vifor, previously known as Galenica Group, floated its Galenica Sante business on the Swiss stock exchange in April, raising 1.9 billion Swiss francs.​ ($1 = 0.9728 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Daria Kowalewska; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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