Roche Q1 Sales Up 2% (CER), Both Divisions Show High Single-Digit Growth Excluding COVID-19

Roche Reports 2% Growth in Group Sales Despite Currency Impact

In the first quarter of 2024, Roche saw a 2% increase in group sales at constant exchange rates (CER), though a 6% decrease was observed in Swiss francs (CHF) due to currency fluctuations. The growth was primarily driven by strong performances in newer medicines and diagnostics. Excluding COVID-19-related products, sales rose by 7%. Looking ahead, the company expects no significant further impact from COVID-19-related sales decline.

The appreciation of the Swiss franc against most currencies contributed to the 6% decrease in reported sales in CHF. However, despite this challenge, the Pharmaceuticals Division saw its base business grow by 7%, led by robust sales of medicines targeting severe diseases such as eye diseases, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and blood cancer. Sales in the Diagnostics Division’s base business also grew by 8%, supported by demand for immunodiagnostic products, clinical chemistry tests, and staining solutions.

In the Pharmaceuticals Division, key contributors to growth included medicines like Vabysmo for eye diseases, Phesgo for breast cancer, Ocrevus for multiple sclerosis, Polivy for blood cancer, and Hemlibra for haemophilia A. However, divisional sales growth was tempered by the expected decline in sales of the COVID-19 medicine Ronapreve.

The Diagnostics Division’s growth was driven by demand across all regions for immunodiagnostic products, clinical chemistry tests, and staining solutions. However, this growth was partially offset by declining demand for COVID-19 tests.

The quarter also saw significant milestones, including US approvals for Xolair for food allergies and Alecensa for early-stage lung cancer, as well as positive data from phase III trials for various medicines.

Roche CEO Thomas Schinecker expressed confidence in the company’s performance, noting strong growth in both divisions and confirming the outlook for 2024, expecting mid single-digit growth in Group sales at constant exchange rates.

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