BTG increases revenue forecasts after a strong first half to year

SPECIALIST healthcare company BTG yesterday raised its full-year profit guidance, thanks to strong first-half trading.

After a strong six months that came in ahead of expectations and a positive outlook for the second half, BTG raised its revenue expectations for the year to the end of March 2013 to between £205m and £215m from previous guidance of between £190m and £200m.

High demand for several of its pharmaceuticals – such as snake antivenom CroFab, cancer drug Voraxaze following its launch in the US in April, and Johnson & Johnson’s prostate cancer drug Zytiga – boosted profits.

BTG has submitted additional marketing applications for Zytiga in the US and Europe in a bid to extend its use further.

Beads products, which are targeted oncology therapies, continued to grow at a double-digit percentage, BTG said yesterday.

First-half revenue was also boosted by a final royalty payment of $22m (£13.7m) from Pfizer for haemophilia drug BeneFIX and £5.4m of deferred income following AstraZeneca’s decision to end CytoFab’s development.

Earlier this summer, the pharmaceutical firm said that CytoFab, an experimental drug for severe sepsis, had failed to help patients in a crucial mid-stage clinical trial and it ended development of the drug, costing the company approximately £28m.

Analysts at Jefferies said that BTG’s growth story remains “attractive”, but did not see sufficient upside to warrant increasing its “hold” rating.

BTG will release its full-year results on 8 November.

Shares closed up 9.04 per cent yesterday at 363.2p.