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AstraZeneca revenues surge ahead but coronavirus clouds current year

Sales will be driven by cancer drugs Enhertu, Lynparza and selumetinib in various markets and anaemia treatment Roxadustat in China

AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca expects revenue increase in new year despite coronavirus

AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) revenues jumped by 10% in 2019 as new product sales powered ahead.

For the year ended 31 December, total revenue rose to $23bn driven by new medicines and higher sales in emerging markets.

Profit before tax, however, dropped 22% to $1.5bn due to higher research and development, selling and marketing costs.

Sales of new medicines increased by 59% to US$9.9bn and accounted for 42% of total product sales.

Cancer drug sales jumped 44% to $8.7bn, heart and renal products by 9% to US$4.38mln and respiratory by10% to US$5.4bn.

Sales growth this year will between high single-digit to a low double-digit percentage depending on the impact of coronavirus.

The FTSE 100-listed drug giant said it will monitor closely the development of the epidemic and will provide a further update over the next months.

READ: AstraZeneca takes back autoimmune drug, sells rights to blood pressure treatments

Sales in the new year are expected to be driven by cancer drugs Enhertu, Lynparza and selumetinib in various markets and Roxadustat, a treatment of anaemia secondary to chronic kidney disease, in China.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot, who has been focusing in recent years on replenishing the pharma company’s drugs pipeline, said 2019 saw progress in line with strategy.

“Results from our new medicines and emerging markets accompanied positive news for patients, most recently including regulatory approvals of Enhertu in breast cancer and Calquence in leukaemia.”

Cash in the bank was 11% higher at $5.2bn while the total dividend remained unchanged at $2.80.

Analysts at Shore Capital said the shares were previously "priced for perfection", therefore Friday's "minor" setbacks were likely to disappoint the market.

"We see continued out-performance driven by sector-leading growth and upcoming clinical catalysts," they commented.

Shares dipped 2% to 7,497p on Friday morning.

--Adds analyst's comment, shares--

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Price: 7574 GBX

LSE:AZN
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Market Cap: £99.39 billion
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