Fall in product sales knocks AstraZeneca's 2017 revenues

Helen Cahill
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AstraZeneca recently announced a raft of product approvals (Source: Getty)

AstraZeneca suffered a fall in revenue last year as its product sales declined.

The figures

The group reported a two per cent decline in revenues to $22.46bn (£15.9bn) in 2017, with product sales declining by five per cent to $20.15bn. Reported operating profit fell by 25 per cent to $3.7bn.

Read more: Investors eye a turnaround at AstraZeneca following progress on new drugs

In the fourth quarter, revenue and product sales increased by two per cent and three per cent respectively.

Why it's interesting

Four years ago, AstraZeneca's chief executive promised revenues would return to growth in 2017, with the aim of bringing in $45bn a year by 2023. Today's results bring that promise into sharp relief, but investors have been eyeing up a turnaround at the pharmaceuticals giant.

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In the past month, AstraZeneca has received approval for its drug Lynparza, which is for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer. It also got the green light from both the EU and Japan for its Fasenra asthma treatment, and its Tagrisso lung cancer drug made progress through US regulatory hurdles in December.

What AstraZeneca said

Pascal Soriot, Astra Zeneca's chief executive, said: "AstraZeneca's revenues improved over the course of the year, a sign of how our company is steadily turning a corner. Strong commercial execution helped us bring our science to more patients, making the most of our exciting pipeline.

"We remain committed to our progressive dividend policy. Our strategy is working, propelled by a strong pipeline, good sales performance and continued cost discipline."

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