Northern Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Galen Holdings today reported a 28% rise in pre-tax profits for its financial year to the end of September.

Pre-tax profits before goodwill and exceptional items were £24.4 million on turnover of £86 million. A dividend of 1.38p, up from 1.10p last year, was also declared.

The full year profit beats the consensus of analysts' forecasts of £23.8 million, but Galen's earnings per share of 15.5p fell slightly short of the 15.9p expected.

Galen Holdings Chairman John King said the year was one "of accomplishment and change for Galen" and noted that the acquisition of Warner Chilcott, Applied Clinical Concepts and the pharmacy division of Duke Clinical Research strengthened the services business in the US.

King said the company's strategy subsequent to its flotation was to enter the US, "the largest and most attractive pharmaceutical market in the world".