AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) (LON:AZN) is set to increase its drugs stockpiles in Europe by about 20 percent in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, the BBC has reported. The news comes as British engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings (LON:RR) also signalled plans to stockpile key parts within months as it braces for a disorderly Brexit.
AstraZeneca’s share price has been little changed in today’s session, having inched 0.02 percent higher at 5,610.00p, marginally underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.20 percent higher at 7,699.50 points. The group’s shares have added just under 10 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near three-percent rise in the Footsie.
AstraZeneca to stockpile drugs
Juliette White, vice-president of global external manufacturing at AstraZeneca, told the BBC’s Newsnight programme this week that the company had been planning for a potential no-deal Brexit ever since the June 2016 referendum.
“Ultimately – and as a safety net – we will increase the amount of finished medicines available to pharmacies and hospitals in those countries,” White said, as quoted by the newswire, referring to both the UK and the European Union, adding that the blue-chip pharmco always had an additional amount of medicines available and was increasing that by about 20 percent.
The comments came after the European Medicines Agency warned earlier this month that it had identified gaps in industry preparedness for Brexit.
Analysts on blue-chip pharmco
Deutsche Bank reaffirmed the group as a ‘buy’ last week, while lifting its price target on the shares from 5,700p to 6,000p. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,445.55p.
AstraZeneca is scheduled to update investors on its second-quarter and half-year performance on July 26.