AstraZeneca surpassed first-quarter sales and profit projections on Friday, thanks to higher-than-expected sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which the firm predicts will decrease sharply over the rest of the year.
The vaccine generated $1.15 billion in revenues in the quarter, the majority of which came from initial contracts, but that figure above Credit Suisse’s consensus analyst forecast of $739 million.
With $3.9 billion in sales, the shot was AstraZeneca’s second best-selling product in 2021.
The business expects sales of Evusheld, its antibody-based COVID-19 treatment, to increase this year, but this will be more than offset by a drop in sales of the vaccine produced with Oxford University due to increased competition, worries about its shelf life, and side effects.
The antibody treatment generated $469 million in revenue in the first quarter, falling just shy of consensus projections of $480 million.
In February, the business stated that sales of its COVID-19 products are likely to fall by a low-to-mid 20s percentage in 2022, while overall revenues would climb by a high teens percentage, with core earnings rising by a mid-to-high 20s percentage.
The London-listed pharmaceutical company maintained those forecasts on Friday, after reporting total revenue of $11.39 billion for the three months ended March 31 and core earnings of $1.89 per share, both of which exceeded consensus estimates of $10.85 billion and $1.70 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Farxiga, AstraZeneca’s diabetes and heart disease medicine, raked in $1 billion throughout the period. According to Credit Suisse, this was significantly ahead of the average projection of $819 million.
However, the company’s shares dipped 1 per cent in early trading as sales of its top three oncology drugs – Tagrisso, Imfinzi, and Lynparza – fell short of consensus expectations. Despite the fact that COVID-19 levels are beginning to decline, access to cancer diagnosis and treatment has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Meanwhile, the corporation has reduced its projections for China, where it has a major presence. The country accounted for almost 16% of AstraZeneca’s entire revenue last year.
The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker predicted that revenues in China will fall by a mid-single-digit percentage in 2022, due in part to discounts made to earn a place on China’s National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) for various medicines.
The government has also just implemented COVID lockdowns, which experts fear may have an impact on sales in the second quarter.
(Adapted from BusinessToday.in)