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Shire meets forecasts with $3.02 bln 2008 revenue

Shire Plc, Britain's third biggest drugmaker, reported full-year revenue in line with expectations, boosted by sales of Vyvanse and its new human genetic therapy line of products.

Shire booked revenue of $3.02 billion in 2008, up 24% on a year earlier and meeting the $3.0 billion expected by a consensus of 15 analysts polled by Reuters.

Looking ahead, Shire reiterated that it hoped to achieve sales growth in the mid teens from 2009 to 2015.

Shire said it made earnings per American Depositary Share before one off items of $3.86, broadly in line with analysts' average forecast of $3.83 in a company poll.

Sales of its blockbuster hyperactivity drug Adderall XR were $1.1 billion in 2008, as expected. Newer hyperactivity drug Vyvanse raked in $319 million, also in line with forecasts.

Shire is pinning hopes on Vyvanse and its human genetic therapy products for rare diseases to drive sales when Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd gets the rights to start selling a generic version of Adderall XR in April.

Shire trades on about 14 times forecast 2009 earnings, compared with 10 times for British peer GlaxoSmithKline Plc) and about 7 times for AstraZeneca Plc.

Shares in the company - viewed as a defensive play, as well as a potential takeover target - have risen about 8% in the past year, while the FTSE 100 index has lost a third of its value in the same period. (Reuters)