New AstraZeneca boss sees big fall in profit and sales

City A.M. Reporter
ASTRAZENECA’s new boss said yesterday that the drug maker faced a tough year, with sales expected to fall by a mid-to-high single digit percentage rate as patent expiries continued to erode business.

Earnings will decline “significantly more than revenue” this year as operating costs rise, the drug maker said yesterday.

Fourth-quarter sales fell 16 per cent to £4.6bn, generating core earnings, which exclude certain items, down three per cent at $1.56 per share. The slower decline in earnings reflected lower costs and a favourable tax adjustment.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot hopes to turn the group around by investing in growth areas such as emerging markets.