BusinessCompany NewsAstraZeneca boosts profits despite regulatory storm

AstraZeneca boosts profits despite regulatory storm

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca yesterday reported a strong financial performance in 2004 despite setbacks with some of its new drugs, but warned that the move to IFRS would hit operating profits and earnings per share.

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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