More trouble for leaderless AstraZeneca as sales dive
Pre-tax profit was down by 36 per cent at £3.8bn in the first half of 2012
AstraZeneca, the struggling drug maker which is without a permanent boss after its chief executive quit under shareholder pressure, yesterday had another ailment to deal with as second-quarter sales fell by a fifth.
Sales tumbled 21 per cent to $6.6bn (£4.2bn) in the three months to June, hit by generic competition to Astra's best-selling antipsychotic medicine Seroquel, as well as European governments' squeeze on health spending.
Revenues in western Europe fell 20 per cent, following in the footsteps of Astra's bigger British rival GlaxoSmithKline, which yesterday admitted it will only see flat revenues this year.
But Astra has other difficulties: the FTSE 100 drugs giant's ex-chief executive, David Brennan, shocked the City when he quit in April in an apparent boardroom coup just hours before its shareholder meeting. Investors were angry about Astra's plunging revenues as key drugs faced generic competition, as well as its weak pipeline of newproducts, and yesterday threw up fresh evidence of just how bad its predicament is. About half of Astra's $33bn annual revenues are set to fall away over the next four years, including ulcer treatment Nexium, and cholesterol-buster Crestor, which is worth $6.6bn a year.
In the second quarter, a generic version of Seroquel hit the pharmacy shelves, accounting for 80 per cent of Astra's fall in US revenues, which were down 29 per cent in the three months to $2.3bn.
Simon Lowth, Astra's finance director who was promoted to interim chief executive, said: "The loss of exclusivity on some key brands and tough market conditions have resulted in a decline in revenue and earnings in the second quarter. Despite these challenges, we are on track to achieve our financial targets for the full year."
The drug maker's pre-tax profit was 36 per cent lower at $3.8bn in the first half of 2012.
"The second quarter result reflected the challenging environment that AstraZeneca faces with generics impacting sales of Seroquel IR and a portfolio dominated by mature products," said Brian White, pharma analyst at Shore Capital.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...