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Drugmaker Ipsen posts jump in profit, eyes stable margin in 2014

PARIS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Ipsen returned to net profit in 2013, lifted by sales of specialty care drugs, and aims to preserve its margin as it prepares a U.S. launch of its Somatuline treatment against neuroendocrine tumors.

Full-year operating profit jumped 63 percent to 191 million euros ($261 million), lifting the operating margin to 17 percent from 16.3 percent in 2012.

Ipsen said on Friday it would maintain its operating margin between 16 and 17 percent this year. It aims to file Somatuline for approval in the United States in the first half.

Ipsen said it expected sales of specialty care drugs to rise 4 to 6 percent this year, while revenue from products prescribed by family doctors would be stable or fall 2 percent.

Ipsen posted net profit of 153.1 million euros after a loss of 27.5 million in 2012, when it exited the haemophilia market.

It is paying a stable dividend of 0.80 euros per share.

Shares in Ipsen are down more than 9 percent so far this year after a 51 percent jump in 2013. They closed at 31.19 euros on Thursday, giving the company a market capitalisation of about 2.6 billion euros.