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AstraZeneca sees profits surge and forecasts further growth in 2024

The drugs giant reported pre-tax profits of 6.9 billion US dollars (£5.5 billion) for 2023, up from 2.5 billion US dollars (£1.8 billion) in 2022.

Holly Williams
Thursday 08 February 2024 09:43 GMT
Drugs giant AstraZeneca has more than doubled annual profits thanks to strong sales of its cancer treatments (Peter Byrne/PA)
Drugs giant AstraZeneca has more than doubled annual profits thanks to strong sales of its cancer treatments (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Drugs giant AstraZeneca has more than doubled annual profits thanks to strong sales of its cancer treatments and said this should help boost revenues and earnings in 2024.

The pharmaceutical firm reported pre-tax profits of 6.9 billion US dollars (£5.5 billion) for 2023, up from 2.5 billion US dollars (£1.8 billion) the previous year as sales lifted 3% to 45.8 billion US dollars (£36.3 billion), or 15% higher excluding Covid-19 products and on a constant currency basis.

It saw sales of its oncology drugs leap 19% to 18.4 billion US dollars (£14.6 billion) – now accounting for 40% of groupwide revenues, up from 35% in 2022.

The boost helped offset a 3.7 billion US dollar (£2.9 billion) loss of sales from Covid-19 treatments.

As AstraZeneca celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are pleased to report another year of strong financial performance and scientific progress

Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca saw just 12 million US dollars (£9.5 million) in sales of its Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria – which was developed with the University of Oxford to help protect people from the pandemic.

But AstraZeneca had always developed the jab on a not-for-profit basis.

Shares in the FTSE 100-listed group fell 3% in morning trading on Thursday as its fourth quarter figures came in lower than expected.

It reported pre-tax profits of 897 million US dollars (£710 million) in the final months of 2023, which was 15% higher than a year ago, but less than most analysts were pencilling in.

The firm said it was expecting further growth over the year ahead, guiding for a “low double-digit to low teens percentage” rise in revenues and earnings per share, with exchange rate movements stripped out.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said: “As AstraZeneca celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are pleased to report another year of strong financial performance and scientific progress.

“We expect another year of strong growth in 2024, driven by continued adoption of our medicines across geographies.”

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