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Vectura says yearly earnings should top market forecasts

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(Reuters) - British drugmaker Vectura <VEC.L> predicted on Thursday that its 2018 adjusted earnings would exceed market forecasts, citing rising sales of inhalers and improved profit margins.

Its revenue growth, boosted by sales of its Flutiform and Ultibro inhalers, should match market expectations, Vectura said, while forecasting that R&D spending would fall around the bottom of its expected range of between 55 million and 65 million pounds.

Analysts were expecting 35.4 million pounds in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The announcement is a good sign for the Chippenham, England-based drugmaker which has faced a rocky couple of years since its costly acquisition of rival SkyePharma.

In November, Vectura stopped developing a treatment for severe uncontrolled asthma after trials showed it failed to have a significant impact on the condition.

The company also said R&D expenses for 2019 would remain unchanged from its forecast, while results from a late-stage trial of its inhaled triple-combination therapies with Novartis AG <NOVN.S> should be announced this year.

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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