Roche improves profits but misses expectations

SWISS drugmaker Roche improved its net profit for 2010 but failed to impress analysts who described the results as weak yesterday.

Roche’s full-year sales were 47.47bn Swiss francs (£31.35bn), below the SwFr48.4bn analysts had forecast, after overall sales fell three per cent and pharmaceutical sales fell five per cent as European sales slowed.

Earnings per share grew four per cent to SwFr12.8, missing expectations of SwFr12.9 but still up ten per cent before a six per cent currency headwind, BNP Paribas analysts said.

Matrix analyst Navid Malik said Roche’s full-year net income, while up 11 per cent to SwFr8.67bn from SwFR7.78bn in 2009, was “a clear miss versus consensus” as it fell SwFr0.58bn below

expectations. Roche downgraded its forecast sales revenue from its breast cancer drug Avastin to SwFr7bn from SwFr8bn and said it expected low single-digit sales growth in 2011.