AstraZeneca profits fall on series of key patent expirations

British drugmaker AstraZeneca saw sales fall by more than expected (six per cent) in the second quarter on the loss of patent protection on a number of key medicines (release).

In the first half of the year, pre-tax profits fell by 38 per cent to $1.086bn, while basic earnings per share fell to $1.47 from $2.53.

Revenues fell by four per cent to $6.232bn, $500m of which came from the loss of exclusivity on several key brands. Some $400m of revenue growth came from five platforms (Emerging Markets, Japan, Brilinta, diabetes franchise and respiratory franchise).

Chief executive Pascal Soriot has said he will turn the business around after a number of research setbacks and patent expirations, but has warned the process will take several years.

AstraZeneca has reiterated its expectation for middle to high single digit percentage fall in revenues over the full year 2013, with earnings set to fall even more significantly.