AstraZeneca raised its earnings guidance for the full year, after its margins were boosted by soaring sales of higher priced oncology and rare disease drugs and a drop in revenue from non-profit contracts for its Covid-19 vaccine.
The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker expected 2022 core earnings per share to increase by a high twenties to low thirties percentage, compared with previous guidance to expect a mid-to-high twenties rise.
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s chief executive, said the company was benefiting from “sustained investment” in research and development, including 19 regulatory approvals since the last earnings call.
“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,” he said.
The company reported $11bn in third-quarter revenue, up 19 per cent year on year at constant exchange rates, and higher than analysts’ forecasts of $10.8bn.
Sales of Vaxzevria, the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca developed with the University of Oxford, declined as expected to $180mn from $1.1bn in the same quarter the year before.
Core earnings per share were $1.67, up 70 per cent year on year at constant exchange rates, and above the average analyst estimate for $1.54. The core gross margin was 81 per cent, up six percentage points.