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AstraZeneca's Q1-14 revenue marginally up at$6.42 bn, profit falls

24 April 2014

AstraZeneca Plc has reported a marginal 3 per cent increase in its core revenue for the first quarter of the current year at $6,416 million.

Operating profit was down 40 per cent at $836 million while earnings per share declined by 40 per cent to $0.40 for the quarter.

AstraZeneca said its key growth platforms were heart drug `Brilinta', diabetes and respiratory formulations, emerging markets and Japan, which together delivered $3.3 billion (up 15 per cent on core earnings basis) of revenue in the first quarter.

Revenues from emerging markets grew 11 per cent on a core basis, with revenue in China increasing by 22 per cent.

Core EPS was $1.17 for the quarter, an 11 per cent decline on core basis. Core EPS declined despite revenue growth, primarily due to investment in the company's key growth platforms and rapidly progressing pipeline, it said.

Reported EPS was $0.40 for the quarter, a 40 per cent decline on care basis due to the loss on disposal of Alderley Park and the impact of the acquisition of the global diabetes alliance, AstraZeneca said.

Consolidation of full diabetes franchise contributed 2 percentage points of revenue growth. All growth platforms growing strongly.

AstraZeneca said its Brilinta sales rose 94 per cent to $99 million during the quarter while sales of diabetes drug rose 106 per cent to, $347 million and sales of respiratory drugs rose 12 per cent to $1,271 million.

Emerging market sales rose 11 per cent to $1,421 million while sales in Japan rose 13 per cent to $537 million.

The company made significant progress towards achieving scientific leadership in core therapeutic areas.

Its new drug, `AZD9291' has been granted breakthrough therapy designation by the US FDA for the treatment of patients with metastatic, EGFR T790M mutation-positive, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose NSCLC has progressed during treatment with an FDA-approved, EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

Another drug, Olaparib, has been accepted for priority review by the US FDA in BRCA-mutated platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer.

With phase III investment decisions made for MEDI4736, AZD9291, benralizumab and tralokinumab and integration of BMS part of diabetes alliance proceeding as planned, the company maintains its financial guidance for 2014.

''The first quarter has seen continued momentum across the business and our revenue growth reflects the increasing contribution from the five growth platforms that showed strong performance,'' Pascal Soriot, chief executive, said commenting on the results.

''I am pleased with the significant progress we are making towards achieving scientific leadership in our core therapeutic areas. We have confirmed our decision to advance four programmes to Phase III in oncology and respiratory disease. The Breakthrough Therapy designation for AZD9291 in non-small cell lung cancer and the Priority Review granted for olaparib in ovarian cancer by the FDA act as a reminder of the distinctive science that AstraZeneca can bring to patients.

''We are investing in our rapidly progressing pipeline and the key platforms that are the backbone of our strategy to return to growth. To further concentrate organisational focus, we will continue to redeploy our resources in our core priorities and pursue opportunities that maximise the value of our pipeline and portfolio,'' he added.

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