(Sharecast News) – Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca reported strong first-half growth on Friday, despite challenges related to the decline of Covid-19 medicines.
The FTSE 100 company said total revenue for the six months reached $22.3bn, representing a 4% increase.
It noted that the growth was achieved despite a decline of $2.18bn attributed to Covid-19 medicines.
Excluding the impact of Covid-19 medicines, AstraZeneca still reported a 16% increase in total revenue, and a 15% improvement in product sales.
AstraZeneca said the strong performance extended across its various therapeutic areas, with oncology medicines seeing a 22% increase in total revenue, followed closely by cardiovascular, renal and metabolism (CVRM) at 20%, respiratory and immunology (R&I) at 10%, and rare disease at 12%.
The firm also reported an encouraging improvement in core product sales gross margin, which stood at 83%, reflecting a three-percentage-point increase.
Its core earnings per share jumped 21%, reaching $4.07, as the company maintained its interim dividend at 93 US cents.
Looking ahead, AstraZeneca reiterated its guidance for the full year.
“Each of our non-Covid-19 therapy areas saw double-digit revenue growth, with eight medicines delivering more than $1bn of revenue in the first half, demonstrating the strength of our business,” said chief executive officer Pascal Soriot.
“Several medicines grew rapidly including Ultomiris, Imfinzi/Imjudo and Farxiga, with revenues up 64%, 57% and 40% respectively.”
Soriot said AstraZeneca’s pipeline momentum was continuing, with eight positive pivotal trials for its oncology medicines so far this year, adding that the company was encouraged by the positive data from ‘TROPION-Lung01’ – the first pivotal trial of datopotamab deruxtecan.
“We look forward to sharing the data with the medical community at an upcoming medical congress and are proceeding to file the data with the US Food and Drug Administration.”
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.