AstraZeneca boosts profits despite regulatory storm

The group reported a sales increase of 14% to $21.4bn and a similar rise in operating profit at $4.8bn. A strong performance from its more established products helped soothe regulatory problems with its Exanta and Iressa drug lines.

However under IFRS operating profit would have fallen to $4.5bn and earnings per share would drop $0.10 to $2.18. It also advised that EPS guidance for 2005 would be around $0.05 lower than under UK GAAP.

AstraZeneca will produce it first results under IFRS when it releases figures for the first quarter of the year.

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