DGAP-News: BB BIOTECH AG: Focus on long-term innovation leads to a strong first quarter of 2019

DGAP-News: BB BIOTECH AG / Key word(s): Interim Report

BB BIOTECH AG: Focus on long-term innovation leads to a strong first quarter of 2019 (news with additional features)

26.04.2019 / 07:00

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Media release as of April 26, 2019

Interim report of BB Biotech AG as at March 31, 2019


Focus on long-term innovation leads to a strong first quarter of 2019

BB Biotech's stock and Net Asset Value advance 24.2% and 31.1%, respectively


Buoyed by an impressive rebound on stock markets, the healthcare sector closed the first quarter with a positive performance. Biotechnology stocks performed even better, which underlines their strength and breadth. BB Biotech shares outperformed against this positive backdrop. The company's profit for the period rose to CHF 890 mn compared to CHF 28 mn in 1Q 2018. Further progress was made in realigning the portfolio, shifting assets from large-cap stocks into fast-growing smaller and mid-sized companies. The portfolio weightings of drug developers specializing in genetic engineering techniques were increased and two new positions in such companies were added to the portfolio. Bristol-Myers Squibb's takeover of Celgene for USD 74 bn is set to generate a significant cash inflow for BB Biotech when the transaction closes sometime in the third quarter. BB Biotech's Management Team is optimistic about the remainder of the year. Further milestones are likely to be reached on the R&D front and there are increasing indications that M&A activity is picking up.

Equity markets got off to a strong start in 2019. In January, most indices recovered from their fourth-quarter losses. US and European equity indices closed the first quarter with positive double-digit total returns. The S&P (+13.7% in USD), the Dow Jones (+11.8%) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (+16.8%) each performed strongly. European markets as measured by the Eurostoxx 50 (+12.3% in EUR), the Dax (+9.2% in EUR) and the SMI (+13.8% in CHF) also ended the first quarter in positive territory.

Healthcare markets were also up but not as much as broader markets. The MSCI World Healthcare Index rose by 8.3%. Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology outperformed broader healthcare indices with the Nasdaq Biotech Index up 15.5% (all values in USD). The strength and breadth of the biotechnology sector proved itself even in the wake of a high profile Alzheimer's disease drug candidate failure for Biogen in late clinical development.
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