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Roche in Basel. (Img: Roche)

Roche in Basel. (Img: Roche)


Roche benefits from new medicines

Basel pharma company Roche is very pleased with its financial results for the first half of 2019 and raises its outlook for the year as a whole. This positive performance was driven by high demand for new medicines.

Roche reported sales of 30.469 billion Swiss francs for the first half of 2019, as was reported in a press release. This equates to growth of 9 percent on the same period of the previous year. Core operating profit was up 11 percent to 12.363 billion francs. The growth was above all attributable to the Pharmaceuticals Division, where sales increased by 10 percent to 24.194 billion francs. Sales in the Diagnostics Division were up 2 percent to 6.275 billion francs.

“In the first half of the year, we achieved very strong results, driven by high demand for our new medicines,” comments CEO Severin Schwan in the press release, adding: “I am very pleased with the expedited approvals health authorities granted for Polivy and Rozlytrek.”

The pharma group highlights that the new hemophilia medicine Hemlibra was one of the key growth drivers. The new cancer treatments Tecentriq and Perjeta contributed to growth in the USA, Europe and Japan and therefore more than offset lower sales in other medicines affected by the competition from biosimilars.

In addition to approval for Polivy in the USA and Rozlytrek in Japan, some of Roche’s other cancer medicines have been approved in the USA. These are Kadcyla for adjuvant (after surgery) treatment of people with HER2-positive early breast cancer and Venclexta in combination with Gazyva for the treatment of people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma.

“Based on the performance in the first half of the year, we are increasing the outlook for the full-year 2019,” reports the CEO. Roche now expects sales to grow in the mid- to high-single digit range at constant exchange rates, up from the previous forecast in the mid-single digit range. It also plans to further increase its dividend in Swiss francs.

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