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Shire jumped to the top of the FTSE 100 after it announced strong first quarter results on Tuesday afternoon, after its $32bn takeover of Baxalta last year helped it more than double revenues.

The Ireland-based company has transformed itself into a leading specialist in drugs for treating rare diseases through a series of acquisitions, culminating in the Baxalta deal.

The addition of Baxalta’s business meant total revenues in the first three months of the year were 109 per cent higher than the same period last year, at $3.57bn, at the top end of analyst forecasts.

The company also remained on track to meet its goal of double-digit sales growth at its older businesses, with sales excluding Baxalta up 11 per cent.

Shares in the group, which were down around 0.1 per cent before the results were released at midday, climbed to a 2.9 per cent rise for the day at publication time, at £46.66.

Shire plans to generate around $700m of annual cost savings through the Baxalta deal, and said its integration plans are progressing ahead of schedule.

The group is now prioritising cutting its $22bn debt pile, and said today that it is on track to meet its target of reducing debt to between two and three times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Costs related to the takeover meant reported net income for the period fell by 11 per cent, to $375m, but the company said adjusted earnings were 74 per cent higher than the previous year, at $1.1bn.

The company said it is on track to meet previously-announced full-year product sales targets of between $14.5bn and $14.8bn, with diluted earnings per American depositary share of between $6.95 and $7.55 on a reported basis.

Flemming Ornskov, Shire chief executive, said:

In the first quarter we delivered strong top-line growth with quarterly product sales of $3.4bn. I am especially pleased to see that our sales growth came from across our broad portfolio, with genetic diseases growing 14 per cent, our recently launched Xiidra product achieving a 22 per cent market share and the Baxalta business growing at 8 per cent on a pro forma basis. We also improved our operational efficiency, and are ahead of plan on integrating Baxalta.

Our priorities for the rest of 2017 remain unchanged: launching new products while driving commercial excellence, generating operational efficiencies, and advancing our pipeline of novel therapies. Additionally, we continue to prioritize paying down debt, and we are on track to achieve our full-year financial guidance

Photo: Bloomberg

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