AstraZeneca sees cancer drug sales rise by 20%

AstraZeneca lifts its full-year guidance as revenue from cancer drugs offsets falling Covid-19 vaccine sales

  • AstraZeneca has lifted its earnings guidance following a solid third quarter 
  • Revenue from the Anglo-Swedish group’s oncology arm rose by 24% 

AstraZeneca has lifted its full-year earnings guidance following a solid third quarter, newly published results reveal. 

The pharmaceuticals giant said it now expects its 2022 core earnings per share at constant exchange rates to increase by a high-twenties to low-thirties percentage, up from previous guidance of a mid-to-high twenties increase.

At actual exchange rates, EPS growth is expected to be hit by a currency headwind of a mid-to-high single-digit percentage, versus previous guidance of a mid-single-digit headwind.

Revenue from the Anglo-Swedish group’s oncology arm rose by 24 per cent, with sales up 20 per cent. 

Results: AstraZeneca has lifted its full-year earnings guidance following a solid third quarter

The group saw revenue from non-profit contracts for its Covid-19 vaccine fall over the period. 

Across all its divisions, it reported revenue of $11billion in the third quarter, which is 19 per cent higher than a year ago. The company swung to a pre-tax profit of $922million, from a loss of $2billion.

Pascal Soriot, the group’s chief executive, said: ‘AstraZeneca continues to see the benefit of our sustained investment in R&D, with 19 major regulatory approvals since our last earnings call.

‘After a strong performance in the year to date, we have increased our Core EPS guidance for the full year 2022. 

‘Additionally, recent encouraging data for several of our pipeline programmes have given us the confidence to proceed with additional late-stage clinical trials as we maintain our focus on delivery of our growth ambitions.

‘I would also like to highlight the announcement at COP27 to accelerate the delivery of our net zero strategy. Our company intends to lead by example on this increasingly important objective for the world.’

Cancer drugs: Revenue from the Anglo-Swedish group's oncology arm rose by 24%

Cancer drugs: Revenue from the Anglo-Swedish group’s oncology arm rose by 24%

AstraZeneca shares rose today and were up 2.25 per cent or 244.00p to 11,090.00p this morning, having risen over 18 per cent in the past year.  

Derren Nathan, head of equity research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘This was a strong performance by AstraZeneca reflecting good growth from its higher value medicines. 

‘But what’s really exciting is its continuing high hit rate in terms of R&D successes. 19 Major regulatory approvals since the last update help underpin the outlook for sustainable long-term growth, and there is likely to be more to come with 18 Phase III read-outs expected in 2023.

‘AstraZeneca is heightening its focus on genomic medicines and its strong cash flows are enabling it to make strategic acquisition. The proposed acquisition of LogicBio announced last month, although relatively small seems highly complementary to Alexion’s efforts to pioneer next generation medicines to treat rare genetic diseases.’