AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) posted better-than-expected core income in the fourth quarter, thanks to strong demand for its cancer and rare disease therapies that helped make up for waning sales of its COVID-19 vaccine. Core earnings per share during the three months ended on December 31 was $1.38, a drop in actual terms of 17% compared to the same timeframe in the previous year but still above Bloomberg consensus estimates of $1.35. The result pushed the annual figure up to $6.66 a share, also beating forecasts. Revenues at the drugmaker’s key oncology division grew by 4% in actual terms to $4.05 billion, highlighted by strong performance by the unit’s medicines across all of its regions. Meanwhile, rare blood disorder treatments helped revenues at the group’s rare disease business tick up to $1.82B. However, total revenue during the period declined by 7% to $11.21B, dragged down in particular by a sharp slide in sales of AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria COVID vaccine as the world steadily shifts into a new phase beyond the pandemic. Excluding Vaxzevria, the top-line result expanded by 8% in the final three months of 2022.
AstraZeneca Warned That It Sees Sales For Its Suite Of COVID-19 Medicines.
declining “significantly” in the current fiscal year, with Vaxzevria revenue only minimal. As a result, the company anticipates that total revenue at current exchange rates in 2023 will increase in the low-to-mid single-digit range, while core earnings per share are seen expanding in the high-single-digit to low-double-digit band. But, when not accounting for COVID medicines, AstraZeneca predicts that revenue growth in 2023 will be in the low double-digits. In a statement, chief executive officer Pascal Soriot said the group was on track to deliver “industry-leading” revenue rises “through 2025 and beyond,” adding that it is on a path to releasing at least fifteen new medicines before the end of the decade. “We will continue to invest behind our pipeline and recent launches while continuing to improve profitability. We plan to initiate more than thirty Phase III trials this year, of which ten have the potential to deliver peak year sales over one billion dollars,” Soriot said. London-listed shares in AstraZeneca rallied by more than 4% in early European trading on Thursday.