South Korea’s top biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion Inc. on Wednesday reported that operating income for the third quarter nearly doubled year over year to 140.1 billion won ($125.7 million), beating market expectations thanks to brisk sales of its rheumatoid arthritis biosimilar Remsima in Europe.
Celltrion said in a regulatory filing that it raised 140.1 billion won in operating income on a consolidated basis in the July-September period, up 89.3 percent from a year ago. Sales also jumped 37.9 percent to 232.1 billion won over the same period, and net profit surged 94.4 percent to 113.9 billion won.
On Wednesday, shares of Celltrion, bellwether in the county’s secondary Kosdaq market, closed 3.8 percent or 6,300 won higher than the previous trading session at 173,100 won.
In particular, the company’s operating income for the quarter was 29.4 percent higher than the market estimate of 108.2 billion won. It was also a quarterly record high since its inception in 2002. The previous highest was 138.3 billion won delivered in the second quarter.
The surge in the company’s profits was largely driven by brisk sales of its rheumatoid arthritis biosimilar Remsima in Europe. According to the company, Remsima, the world’s first European Medicines Agency (EMA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved biosimilar version of infliximab, now accounts for almost 50 percent in the entire European market. The company also attributed growing demand for its cancer biosimilar drug Truxima in Europe and the United States for its stellar performance.
By Ko Min-suh and Lee Eun-joo
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