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Drugmaker Orion sees inflation hit in H2 after quarterly profit beat

·1-min read

(Reuters) - Finnish drugmaker Orion on Friday reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings helped by strong sales of prostate cancer treatment Nubeqa, but warned cost inflation would hit its profits in the second half of the year.

Orion's operating profit increased by more than 15% to 82 million euros ($82.3 million) in the second quarter, beating the 62.5-million-euro average estimate in a poll by Vara Research.

Nubeqa sales increased by 74% in the quarter to 20 million euros, nearly a fifth of the group total of 106 million, which was also above expectations.

However, the company said it would start feeling the impact from cost inflation in late 2022 and more in 2023.

Orion shares were down 3.1% at 1019 GMT.

The group, which develops Nubeqa in collaboration with Germany's Bayer, earlier this week signed another prostate cancer related agreement with U.S. firm Merck to develop Orion's investigational ODM-28 molecule.

After inking the deal, Orion said it expected 2022 net sales and operating profit to be "clearly higher" than in 2021. It had previously forecast them at last year's level.

"We will continue to evaluate new collaboration opportunities and business and product acquisition targets," Chief Executive Officer Timo Lappalainen said in a statement.

Orion had in March announced a shift in its research and development focus to new treatments relating to cancer and pain.

($1 = 0.9966 euros)

(Reporting by Marta Frackowiak in Gdansk; editing by Milla Nissi)

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