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Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
AstraZeneca LSE:AZN London Ordinary Share GB0009895292 ORD SHS $0.25
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +56.00p +0.88% 6,424.00p 6,422.00p 6,424.00p 6,467.00p 6,373.00p 6,373.00p 901,971 16:16:08
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 17,322.1 1,562.8 133.3 50.1 81,367.25

AstraZeneca Turns a Corner After a Decade of Struggles -- 2nd Update

14/02/2019 10:20am

Dow Jones News


AstraZeneca (LSE:AZN)
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2 Months : From Jan 2019 to Mar 2019

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By Denise Roland 

LONDON -- AstraZeneca PLC, battered by a string of patent expiries in recent years, reported its strongest sales growth since 2009 as efforts to replenish its pipeline and pivot toward cancer drugs started to pay off.

The Cambridge, England-based drugmaker said product sales rose 4% to $21 billion in 2018. It said it expected growth to accelerate this year, forecasting a high single-digit percentage increase in product sales in 2019.

Thursday's results mark a turning point for AstraZeneca. At its peak, the company raked in sales of around $33 billion, but that has declined for most of the past decade.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot, who joined AstraZeneca in 2012, has invested heavily in research and development to rebuild the company's then-threadbare pipeline, especially in the area of cancer medicine.

Many of those drugs, now on the market, are driving the sales growth. Revenue from AstraZeneca's oncology drugs, such as Tagrisso for lung cancer and Lynparza for ovarian cancer, increased 49% to $6 billion.

Another bright spot for AstraZeneca last year was the Chinese market, where sales increased 25% to $3.8 billion. China has recently eased the path for foreign drugmakers to get their products approved there.

Shares in the company rose more than 4% in early trading in response to the upbeat results.

Still, investors will have to wait for those efforts to hit the bottom line: A ramp-up in investment behind new drug launches and the expansion in China meant core operating profit, a measure watched closely by analysts, slid 17% to $5.7 billion last year. AstraZeneca said it expects core operating profit to increase by a midteen percentage in 2019.

Total revenue, which includes proceeds from deals to partner or unload certain drugs, slipped 2% to $22.1 billion, while net profit dropped 28% to $2.16 billion.

--Carlo Martuscelli contributed to this article.

Write to Denise Roland at Denise.Roland@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 14, 2019 05:05 ET (10:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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