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AstraZeneca returns to sales growth, led by cancer medicines

AstraZeneca returns to sales growth, led by cancer medicines

Strong demand for AstraZeneca’s new drugs – especially those for cancer – drove a return to sales growth in the third quarter and the drugmaker said it now expected a period of sustained growth “for years to come”.

Product sales in the three months rose 8 percent, or 9 percent in constant currencies, which is the benchmark AstraZeneca uses for measuring the return to growth, which it has been promising for 2018.

“It is indeed a fantastic time for us because Q3 (the third quarter) demonstrates that what we have been trying to achieve for the last four years is finally here with us and we are back to growth,” AstraZeneca’s Chief Executive Pascal Soriot told CNBC on Thursday.

“Every single new product we’ve launched is doing very well,” he added. Shares of the company were up 1.8 percent on Thursday morning.

Total revenue, however, fell 14 percent in dollar terms to $5.34 billion and core earnings per share, which exclude some items, were down 37 percent to 71 cents, reflecting lower income from divestments and investment behind new drug launches.

Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of 72 cents on revenue of $5.30 billion, Refinitiv data showed. For the full year, the company kept its financial guidance unchanged.

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