Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca has released first quarter results (release). The firm saw profit before tax fall to $1,304m, a drop of 36 per cent on the same quarter last year. The slump was driven by a loss of exclusivity in key products such as Seroquel IR and Atacand in many markets and for Crestor in Canada. As a result revenues fell by 16 per cent in the US and nine per cent in the rest of the world.
Chief executive Pascal Soriot commented on the results:
As anticipated, the first quarter performance reflects the loss of exclusivity for several large products. We remain focused on our strategic priorities of returning to growth and achieving scientific leadership. Brilinta, the diabetes franchise, Emerging Markets, Japan and our Respiratory products have all made good progress and we continued to invest in distinctive science that will advance our knowledge of disease physiology and help to identify new drug targets.