AstraZeneca PLC raises profit forecast as profit margins improve

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AstraZeneca PLC (LSE:AZN) raised its profit forecast after a strong quarter in which EPS rose 70% at constant currencies.

The British-Swedish drug giant says it now expects 2022 base EPS to rise from the 20s to the 30s. He previously told the market to expect growth in the mid-twenty percent range.

“After a strong year-to-date performance, we have increased our full-year 2022 core EPS guidance,” said AZ chief executive Pascal Soriot.

“Additionally, recent encouraging data for several of our pipeline programs has given us the confidence to proceed with additional late-stage clinical trials as we remain focused on achieving our growth ambitions.”

For the three months ended September 30, 2022, AZ’s base earnings were $1.67, while year-to-date was $5.28, up 52%.

The company cited a favorable product mix (particularly strong sales of oncology products) and the acquisition of Alexion for an increase in the company’s gross profit margins, which reached 81%.

Lower sales AZ’s lower-margin Covid Vaxzevria jab also had a positive impact on gross margin.

Revenue for the quarter increased 19% at constant exchange rates to $10.98 billion and increased 37% to $33.14 billion year-to-date.

This reflects the impact of consolidating sales of rare disease group Alexion, which AZ formally acquired in July last year for $39 billion.

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