Shares in AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) have lost ground in London this morning as the blue-chip pharmco revealed that its revenue had declined last year. The company, which is betting on a pipeline of new treatments to offset generic competition on some of its top-selling drugs, expects its product sales to rise this year.
As of 09:36 GMT, AstraZeneca’s share price had lost 1.70 percent to 4,803.00p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.20 percent lower at 7,475.76 points. The group’s shares have added nearly 13 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a five-percent rise in the Footsie.
Pharmco posts Q3 results
AstraZeneca announced in a statement this morning that its total revenue had fallen two percent to $22.47 billion last year, with product sales dipping five percent to $20.15 billion. The company’s reported operating profit meanwhile fell 25 percent at actual exchange rates to $3.68 billion.
“AstraZeneca’s revenues improved over the course of the year, a sign of how our company is steadily turning a corner,” the group’s chief executive Pascal Soriot commented in the statement, adding that the company had “made encouraging progress across the main therapy areas and delivered strong growth in China”.
AstraZeneca, whose fortunes have come under pressure due to competition from cheaper generics, said that it expects a low single-digit percentage increase in product sales this year. The group’s core earnings per share meanwhile are expected to come in between $3.30 and $3.50. AstraZeneca noted that expects a low single-digit percentage favourable impact from currency movements on product sales and a minimal impact on core EPS in the year.
The Times reported that City analysts had called the results ‘robust’, with Shore Capital welcoming the pharmco stating that it was ‘primed to return to growth in 2018’.