Pharma giant AstraZeneca (AZN) struggled during the first quarter with sales and earnings falling, Investment in new products, and a faster than anticipated decay of Crestor sales in Europe and Japan. There were positive notes on the sales side, with China, where revenues were up by 31%, and new products in areas such as oncology and respiratory treatment are performing well. Overall revenues for the quarter dropped 4% to $5.17 billion, though this is flattered by some positive currency movements.
Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said that the new product launches were encouraging and could pave the way for the company’s return to growth in 2018 and that management were confident that the firm would hit its targets for the year.
Analysts from Liberum said that the numbers were reasonably solid, with the miss on revenues driven by genericising Crestor while new products beat forecasts. Shares in AstraZeneca were at 5,216p at 14:50 BST, down by 2.41%.