Bright outlook on earnings and product pipeline triggers sharp rise in Vectura’s shares

January 4, 2019

Shares in Vectura, the specialist pharmaceutical firm, have soared by 13% after it said it expects its earnings for 2018 to be higher than previously expected.

The Chippenham-headquartered firm also predicted good news from a number of its products this year as they reach key milestones. 

Vectura, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, specialises in products that treat inhaled airways conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPDs) such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It was part formed from a spin-out company from the University of Bath. 

In a pre-close trading statement released to shareholders yesterday it said it expects revenue to be in line with, and earnings before tax “to be materially above”, current market consensus expectations.

The statement triggered a 13%-plus increase in Vectura’s share price – making it the highest riser on the FTSE All-Share index. The shares edged back down in later trading to close at 80p, up 12.99% on the day.

Vectura said its upbeat view was underpinned by positive in-market sales performance of a number of its products including its asthma inhaler Flutiform, which enjoyed a 8.6% increase in sales during the year to September, and COPD inhaler Ultibro, which had a sales rise of 12.2% over the same period.

Other highlights included an agreement with multinational pharmaceuticals group Hikma for the global development and commercialisation of generic versions of GSK’s Ellipta asthma and COPD treatment portfolio, receiving an upfront milestone of $15m (£11.9m), and “significant progress” on the firm’s nebulised portfolio.

Vectura chief executive officer James Ward-Lilley said: “Vectura has made good progress in the year with positive top line performance, pipeline evolution aligned with our refocused investment strategy, and strong operational execution.

Vectura will report its preliminary results for the year ended December 31 on March 26. The firm has seven inhaled, four non-inhaled and 10 oral products marketed by partners with growing global royalty streams, and a portfolio of drugs in clinical development, a number of which have licence agreements with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including Novartis, GSK and Chiesi. 


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