Swiss pharma giant Roche’s first-quarter sales edge higher as its emerges from post-Covid-19 slump

A logo at the Roche Holding AG headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

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Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche on Wednesday reported a modest uptick in first-quarter sales, even as waning demand for its Covid-19 products continued to weigh on the company.

Sales were up 2% at constant exchange rates, led by stronger demand for Roche’s newer medicines and diagnostics, the company said. Excluding Covid-19 products, sales were up 7%.

But sales tightened when reported in the company’s local currency, down 6% off the back of a strong Swiss franc.

Roche CEO Thomas Schinecker on Wednesday confirmed the company’s 2024 outlook, saying it was largely out of the woods following a post-Covid-19 slump.

“After this quarter, the COVID-19-related impact on sales is largely behind us,” he said.

Roche had issued a more-modest-than-expected 2024 growth outlook in February, Reuters reported, as the company continues to confront a drop-off in demand for its Covid-19 products and a number of its cancer drugs.

At the time, the company forecast annual group sales would grow by a mid-single digit percentage when adjusted for currency fluctuations.

“We are confident of growing our Group sales in the mid single digit range this year (at constant exchange rates) and therefore we confirm our outlook for 2024,” Schinecker said Wednesday.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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