2009 was a busy year in LEO Pharma’s history. In October, the group launched an ambitious new growth strategy with the clear vision of becoming the number one pharmaceutical company worldwide, providing competitive drugs within the dermatology and critical care segments. As a part of this strategy, LEO established new companies and sales units globally in 2009 and carried out acquisitions and repurchases.
"After several years with focus on consolidation and optimisation, our new strategy has shifted focus to growth and expansion in order to safeguard LEO Pharma’s long-term growth," says Gitte P. Aabo, President and CEO of LEO Pharma.
In September 2009, LEO Pharma acquired the Australian-American biotech company Peplin, Inc., and repurchased the company’s distribution rights in the US from its former partner Warner Chilcott, Inc. The acquisition and the repurchase, which amounted to more than DKK 6,000 million, had a significant impact on the results for the year with total depreciation, amortisation and write-downs of DKK 2,380 million.
After record results in 2008, 2009 became a year with continued growth in net turnover of 7%, but with an expected pre-tax loss of DKK -16 million as a result of the substantial investments in the company’s future.
"The 2009 results are as anticipated and are quite satisfactory despite the decline in the results. The group’s existing product portfolio saw continued growth in healthcare turnover of 9% (at fixed exchange rates) during the year due to, among other things, the launch of Xamiol® for treating scalp psoriasis."
"The decline in the results thus solely reflects investments in the future, and there is no doubt that LEO Pharma is in a much stronger position now as a result of the investments made in 2009 than at the beginning of 2009, despite the fact that the 2008 results were better on paper than the 2009 results," Gitte P. Aabo explains.
New growth strategy with focus on expansion
With equity of DKK 20,301 million and a net capital of DKK 12,754 million, LEO Pharma, which is wholly owned by the LEO Foundation, maintains its financial freedom to take action and expand even in years of global financial crisis.
In 2009, LEO Pharma established new subsidiaries in the US and China and established sales units in Mexico and Russia.
"Our significant expansions in 2009, in terms of both acquisitions and repurchases as well as the establishment of new sales units worldwide, are completely in line with our new growth strategy, which has set the direction for the substantial investments we made throughout the year and which will continue in 2010, where we plan, among other things, to open several new offices in countries such as Japan and Brazil," says Gitte P. Aabo.
The reacquisition of the rights to the US market and the establishment of an affiliate in the US reflect LEO Pharma’s focus on increasing its sales efforts and spreading the knowledge of the group’s drugs considerably in the US market. The step also enables LEO Pharma to engage part of the group’s new strategy, which aims to ensure that LEO Pharma’s drugs are sold, where possible, by LEO Pharma’s own employees, who typically know more about the drugs and are trained in their therapeutic areas.
New product launches
LEO Pharma’s focus areas continue to be:
- Skin infections
- Actinic keratosis
- Supportive treatment in cancer
In 2008-2009, LEO Pharma launched Xamiol® for treating scalp psoriasis in a number of markets, and the turnover from the drug multiplied by more than six in 2009. The launch will continue in more markets in 2010.
LEO Pharma’s main product within psoriasis treatment, Daivobet®, saw growth of 20% relative to 2008.
In 2010, LEO Pharma will be adding a new formula to its psoriasis portfolio with the launch of Daivobet® Gel, a lipophilic gel which addresses the needs of psoriasis patients for a cosmetically improved treatment. Moreover, with the acquisition of Peplin, Inc., LEO Pharma expects to be able to add one or two new therapeutic areas to its dermatology portfolio in coming years.
Sales in the dermatology segment accounted for more than 50% of the healthcare turnover in 2009.
Innohep® for treating blood coagulation disorders is the main product within critical care. Innohep® offers a number of advantages compared to other low molecular herapins.
Innohep® is the most important contributor to the development in sales in the critical care segment, with an increase of 5% in 2009, which is deemed satisfactory.
One-Alpha® for treating chronic kidney disease and related calcium metabolism disorders remains an important product as well. One-Alpha® was launched more than 30 years ago and, despite generic competition, sales increased by 3% in 2009.
Research and development
In 2009, LEO Pharma further strengthened its pipeline, both with own projects and with projects from outside the group through the acquisition of Peplin, Inc.:
- Daivobet® Gel developed for treating body psoriasis will be launched in the spring of 2010
- PEP005 for treating actinic keratosis has completed clinical phase III with positive results, and the registration process will now be initiated
- PEP005 for treating non-melanoma skin cancer is in clinical phase II
- LEO 22811 for treating inflammatory conditions has advanced to clinical phase I
- LEO 29102 for treating eczema has advanced to clinical phase II
- LEO 90100 is in pre-clinical development for treating body psoriasis
- LEO 90110 is in pre-clinical development for treating psoriasis
- LEO 27847 for treating kidney patients has advanced to clinical phase I
During the year, LEO Pharma shut down a research project (TD1414) for treating infections of the skin and underlying connective tissue, which turned out not to be sufficiently competitive. The same was the case for a small-scale dermatology project (LEO 80190) for treating psoriasis on the face.
Expectations for 2010
LEO Pharma will continue to increase its activities within research and development programmes in the dermatology and critical care segments. In addition, increased targeted sales and marketing efforts aim to contribute to meeting the target of double-digit sales growth.
LEO Pharma also expects to carry out major investments in new production facilities in Denmark, France and Ireland in 2010. The aim of the investments is to support the future sales growth with the necessary production capacity. The group thus plans to invest almost DKK 500 million in 2010.
As a part of LEO Pharma’s overall strategy and the fulfilment of its objectives of double-digit sales growth and of attaining a market-leading position for the group’s products in defined markets, LEO Pharma will continue to investigate the possibilities of establishing own affiliates in more countries in 2010. The group recently set up own affiliates in the US and China. A subsidiary in Brazil is currently being established. In addition, the possibilities of establishing own affiliates in a number of markets covered by third-party distributors are being considered.
Consequently, a significant increase in the number of employees worldwide is also expected in 2010. With its new strategy, the group places great emphasis on introducing new values with increased customer focus and a strong performance-drive. International management development programmes and a new global appraisal system designed to ensure employee development will therefore be introduced in 2010.
All in all, LEO Pharma expects an increase in sales and positive results which are not affected by investments made in 2009 to the same extent.
Five-year financial highlights and ratios for LEO Pharma
LEO financial figures 2005-2009 (EUR).
LEO financial figures 2005-2009 (MDKK).
Founded in 1908, LEO Pharma is an independent, research-based pharmaceutical company based in Ballerup near Copenhagen. LEO Pharma is wholly owned by the LEO Foundation and is one of the world’s leading companies within the treatment of dermatology (psoriasis, skin infections, eczema and actinic keratosis) as well as critical care (anticoagulation, nephrology and the supportive treatment in cancer). LEO Pharma develops, manufactures and markets competitive, safe and efficacious drugs globally. 96% of the group’s turnover is generated outside Denmark, where LEO Pharma’s products are sold in more than 100 countries. LEO Pharma has offices in 53 countries and employs more than 3,500 employees worldwide, 1,300 of which in Denmark.
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