(Reuters) -Swiss drugmaker Roche’s first quarter sales rose a better-than-expected 10% on strong U.S. demand for rapid COVID-19 antigen tests and drugs including Ocrevus against multiple sclerosis as well as Hemlibra against haemophilia.
Quarterly sales rose to 16.44 billion Swiss francs ($17.17 billion), up from 14.93 billion Swiss francs in the year-earlier period, the company said on Monday. That was slightly above a market consensus of about 16 billion francs.
The diagnostics division accounted for most of the positive surprise, reporting sales growth of 24% to 5.3 billion francs on usage of its COVID-19 tests and cardiac tests.
Roche reiterated that it expected currency-adjusted 2022 sales to be flat or grow in the low-single-digit percentage range, below last year’s 9% gain.
It also reaffirmed that sales of COVID-19 medicines and diagnostics would decrease by about 2 billion Swiss francs this year to around 5 billion francs.
Ocrevus revenue gained 18% to reach 1.45 billion francs and Hemlibra sales jumped 30% to 853 million francs, offsetting a decline in established off-patent cancer medicines Herceptin, Avastin and Rituxan due to cheaper rival products.
($1 = 0.9577 Swiss francs)
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