Loss of exclusivity on several brands hurts AstraZeneca in Q1

Revenue contracted 12 per cent to 6.39bn dollar in the first quarter at FTSE 100-listed pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca after losses of exclusivity for Seroquel IR and Atacand in many markets, and for Crestor in Canada.

Revenue contracted 12 per cent to 6.39bn dollar in the first quarter at FTSE 100-listed pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca after losses of exclusivity for Seroquel IR and Atacand in many markets, and for Crestor in Canada.

The group reported that growth for Symbicort, Brilinta, Iressa and the inclusion of the Amylin diabetes products delivered more than $250m of revenue growth at constant exchange rates in the quarter.

Emerging Markets revenue increased by 9.0% at constant exchange rates (CER) in the quarter and core operating profit was down 21% at CER to $2.32bn in the first quarter.

The group said that the core operating profit decline had been driven by lower revenue and lower core other income, partially offset by core operating costs that were 4.0% lower at CER than last year.

Core earnings per share (EPS) was $1.41, down 21% at CER compared to the first quarter last year. This declined in line with core operating profit, as a higher tax rate this year was broadly offset by a lower number of shares outstanding and lower net finance expense, the group said.

AstraZeneca said that it continued to expect a mid-to-high single digit decline in revenue at CER and a core EPS decline that would be significantly larger than the decline in revenue for the full year.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca, commented: "As anticipated, the first-quarter performance reflects the loss of exclusivity for several large products. We remain focused on our strategic priorities of returning to growth and achieving scientific leadership."

Soriot added: "Brilinta, the diabetes franchise, Emerging Markets, Japan and our Respiratory products have all made good progress and we continued to invest in distinctive science that will advance our knowledge of disease physiology and help to identify new drug targets."

MF

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