AstraZeneca Q2 profit jumps on drug sales
AFP/The Local · 29 Jul 2010, 10:40
Published: 29 Jul 2010 10:40 GMT+02:00
AstraZeneca said profit after tax rose 23 percent to $2.11 billion in the three months to the end of June compared with the equivalent figure in 2009, causing it to lift its full-year profits forecast.
Analysts had estimated net profits at a lower level of $1.94 billion for the second quarter, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Group sales grew one percent to $8.18 billion in the quarter, boosted by sales of cholesterol drug Crestor, anti-psychotic drug Seroquel and asthma treatment Symbicort.
"Our second-quarter performance reflects continued strong growth in our emerging markets and good performance for key brands," CEO David Brennan said in the group's earnings statement.
Britain's second-biggest drugmaker, which reports in dollars, increased its full-year earnings per share target to a range of $6.35 to $6.65. It is the second time in three months that it has raised the core target.
AstraZeneca faces a steep drop in sales over coming years. Seven of its drugs, including three bestsellers, face generic competition by 2014 -- a higher ratio than major European competitors.
However, the group won a major boost on Wednesday when a US Food and Drug Administration panel backed the use of ticagrelor, a proposed anti-clotting drug developed by AstraZeneca, despite concerns the product might not work in US patients.
Also on Thursday, the company increased its target for net share repurchases for 2010 to $2 billion, double an initial target.