AstraZeneca expects sales of Covid-19 drugs to fall in 2022 — Update

By Cecilia Butini

AstraZeneca PLC said Friday it expects sales of its Covid-19 drugs, including the vaccine, to decline at a low to mid-20s rate over the year, although it reported higher first-quarter revenue as due to previous vaccine contracts.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant said revenue in the quarter rose to $11.39 billion, from $7.32 billion a year earlier, due to the contribution of drugs from the acquired company Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Covid-19 vaccine contracts. still awaiting delivery this year.

The company said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were negatively impacted by a fair value reduction of the $1.18 billion worth of inventories recorded in the Alexion acquisition. The statistic was $2.19 billion, down from $2.69 billion, it said.

Net income was $386 million, down $1.56 billion. Core earnings per share rose 16% to $1.89, AstraZeneca said.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine generated sales of $1.15 billion, and its Covid-19 treatment Evusheld raised $469 million, it said. The vaccines and immunotherapy company reported sales increase from $301 million to $1.81 billion, the company said.

The company’s oncology business also grew in the quarter, although it said Covid-19 continues to impact cancer diagnosis and treatment. Top-selling cancer drugs Tagrisso, Imfinzi, Lynparza, Calquence and Enhertu drove sales in the division as patient access to the drugs increased, the company said.

Looking ahead, AstraZeneca said it expects total sales to grow at a high percentage of teens in 2022 and core EPS to increase at a mid to high 20s percentage. However, given the projected decline in sales of Covid-19 drugs, AstraZeneca said the gross margin of those drugs is expected to be below the company average.

The company said it will open a new research and development center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Write to Cecilia Butini at [email protected]

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