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AstraZeneca lifts sales outlook after second-quarter cancer drug boost

AstraZeneca lifts sales outlook after second-quarter cancer drug boost
FILE PHOTO: The logo of AstraZeneca is seen on a medication package in a pharmacy in London, Britain, April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo -
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Stefan Wermuth(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – AstraZeneca Plc <AZN.L> forecast higher product sales for the whole of 2019 after its second-quarter results beat analysts’ expectations on Thursday, driven by sales from cancer medicines including a near doubling of those for its Tagrisso treatment.

The British drugmaker has banked on oncology treatments as well as emerging markets to return it to growth after years of crumbling sales due to patent losses on older drugs.

In the second quarter, sales from its oncology unit soared 57% to $2.17 billion (£1.74 billion), accounting for 38% of total product sales. Tagrisso brought in sales of $784 million.

Core earnings were 73 cents per share, beating analysts’ average expectation of 61 cents per share, according to a company provided consensus.

Full-year product sales are now expected to increase by a low double-digit percentage, the company said, compared to a previous forecast of high single-digit percentage growth.

Product sales in the three months ended June 30 rose 19% to $5.72 billion at constant currency, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of growth.

Analysts on average were expecting product sales of $5.45 billion.

AstraZeneca reiterated that it is prepared for the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, even in the event of a no-deal exit.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham)

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