AstraZeneca ups sales outlook again after strong third quarter

New cancer treatments and an impressive emerging markets performance has helped drugs giant AstraZeneca hike its full-year sales outlook for the second quarter running.

Astra said product revenues jumped 18%, with currency movements stripped out, to 6.1 billion US dollars (£4.7 million) in the three months to September 30.

It expects full-year product sales to rise by a “low to mid-teens percentage”, having previously guided to a low double-digit increase.

Shares lifted 3% after the figures.

The group’s new cancer treatments Tagrisso and Lynparza notched up soaring sales growth, at 86% and 98% respectively in the first nine months of the year so far.

Imfinzi was another star performer, with year-to-date sales growth of 182%.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said the group was growing “at pace”.

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Pascal Soriot (AstraZeneca/PA)

He said: “Another strong performance from our new medicines accompanied impressive results in our key markets, most notably in China, the US and Japan.

“The performance reinforces our confidence in delivering sustainable earnings growth.”

The Anglo-Swedish business has continued to see sales rise after it returned to growth last year for the first time since 2014.

It said it saw solid performances in “all three therapy areas and every sales region” over the third quarter.

Figures showed core earnings rose 41% on a constant currency basis to 1.9 billion US dollars (£1.5 billion), though on a reported basis, operating profits were down 13% at 757 million US dollars (£587 million) after increased legal charges.

Statutory profits were impacted by tough comparisons after a legal settlement in its favour last year.

Emerging markets delivered an impressive 29% jump in total sales, with 40% growth in China and 27% in Japan.

The US saw a 17% increase, while a recovery in Europe continued as sales in the region increased 4%.

Overall total revenues rose 22% at constant exchange rates to 6.4 billion US dollars (£5 billion).

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