Analysts expect disappointing results from AstraZeneca as competition hits sales

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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AstraZeneca's sales have been hit by rivals' lowering prices
AstraZeneca's sales have been hit by rivals' lowering prices (Source: Getty)

AstraZeneca is forecast to report disappointing results this week as competition continues to drag on sales.

Revenue will slip six per cent while pre-tax profits fall seven per cent to $6bn, the drugs giant is expected to say in its annual results according to reports.

The decline in revenue is due to increased competition in its core business as cheaper versions of drugs like its cholesterol-fighting Crestor hit pharmacies.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said the company would deliver sales of $45bn by 2023 after it prevented a £70bn takeover from its rival, US-owned Pfizer in 2014.

Since then, Soriot has pinned the company's growth on developing high-margin cancer drugs.

Soriot is also expected to announce the clinical trial of one of AstraZeneca's major pipeline lung cancer drugs, durvalumab, is back on track after recently being delayed, according to reports.

Read more: One of AstraZeneca's big pipeline drugs just failed a late-stage trial

One analyst told the Telegraph the company's cancer drug pipeline is what investors should be watching: "It absolutely needs to be blowout."

Analysts at Morgan Stanley told the Times there would be unavoidable pressure on the company this year but it will pave the way for "sustainable double-digit growth" in 2018.

AstraZeneca will report its annual results Thursday 2 February.

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