- Pharmaceuticals company Vectura Group posted an annual loss after it wrote down the value of a potential asthma treatment that failed to perform as hoped during trials.

Pre-tax losses for the year through December amounted to £104.8m, similar to losses of £102.2m posted on-year.

Revenue rose 8.4% to £160.5m, while R&D expenses fell 8% to £55.5m.

Gross profit, which stripped out impairment and amortisation charges, rose 8.9% to £98.9m.

'Focused execution of the group's strategy resulted in strong financial and operational performance in 2018,' chief executive James Ward-Lilley said.

'Our generic portfolio is progressing well with the VR315 repeat clinical trial on track to enable Hikma resubmission in 2019, and the signing of the global agreement with Hikma to develop generic versions of GSK's Ellipta portfolio being a major catalyst for future value.'

'Despite the disappointment of the VR475 Phase III study, we continue to make good progress with our nebulised programmes, including development of three new specialist opportunities.'

'We look forward to sustaining our operational performance and providing an update on a number of important catalysts in 2019 including VR315 resubmission, partnering of VR647, further progress on our new nebulised assets and Phase III study completion for QVM149, our ICS/LAMA/LABA therapy for asthma, partnered with Novartis.'

At 9:53am: [LON:VEC] Vectura Group PLC share price was -1.02p at 70.18p

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