Pharmaceutical giant Astrazeneca returned to sales growth today as it predicted a period of “rapid growth” ahead after successful drug launches.
Product sales rose eight per cent to $5.3bn in the third quarter after nine consecutive quarters of sales decline.
But total revenue fell 14 per cent to $5.34bn and operating profit dropped 26 per cent to $851m.
Chief executive Pascal Soriot said the company was about to “embark on a period of rapid growth” over the next few years after a number of successful product launches.
The company's sales had been hit by the loss of a number of patents on some of its major older medicines.
But the launch of 10 new medicines and a growing pipeline has seen Astrazeneca return to sales growth.
Soriot said “not everybody believed” the company could be transformed after its strategy was unveiled in 2014 but that it had now reached a “turning point.”
“Today marks an important day for the future of Astrazeneca, with the performance in the quarter and year to date showing what we expect will be the start of a period of sustained growth for years to come.”
New medicines, such as Tagrisso, Imfinzi and Lynparza in cancer, Farxiga in diabetes and Fasenra in severe asthma were showing “great promise”, he added.
In a call with media, Soriot called for greater clarity regarding the Brexit deal and confirmed that the UK Government had asked Astrazeneca to increased its drugs stockpiles as a contingency.
He also confirmed the company's full year guidance of low single-digit percentage increase in product sales.