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Astrazeneca plc

AstraZeneca Patients to benefit from further pipeline progress

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) announced its year-to-date and Q3 2019 results.

Year-to-date Product Sales growth of 13% (17% at CER1) to $17,315m included third-quarter Product Sales of $6,132m (+16%, +18% at CER). The third quarter again saw all three therapy areas and every sales region produce encouraging performances, including:

–    The continued performance of new medicines2, with sales growth in the quarter of 62% (+64% at CER) to $2,707m, including new-medicine growth in Emerging Markets of 85% (90% at CER) to $539m

–    Sales growth by therapy area in the quarter: Oncology +46% (+48% at CER) to $2,334m, New CVRM3 +8% (+11% at CER) to $1,113m and Respiratory +15% (+18% at CER) to $1,319m

–    Sales growth by region in the quarter: total Emerging Markets sales grew by 25% (29% at CER) to $2,123m, with China sales growth of 35% (40% at CER) to $1,283m, ahead of longer-term trends. US sales increased by 17% to $2,025m; Europe sales continued their return to growth, increasing by 1% (4% at CER) to $1,139m; Japan sales increased by 31% (27% at CER) to $657m

The Company today upgrades its Product Sales guidance at CER for the year.

Financial summary

–    Product Sales increased by 13% in the year to date (17% at CER) to $17,315m. The performance in the quarter was supported by favourable inventory and gross-to-net movements which are not expected in the final quarter of the year

–    The Reported Gross Profit Margin increased by one percentage point in the year to date to 80%, partly reflecting the mix of sales; the Core Gross Profit Margin increased by one percentage point in the year to date to 81%

–    Reported Operating Expense increased by 11% in the year to date (15% at CER) to $12,871m and represented 73% of Total Revenue (YTD 2018: 74%). Core Operating Expense increased by 3% (6% at CER) to $10,537m and represented 59% of Total Revenue (YTD 2018: 65%), demonstrating a significant improvement in operating leverage

–    Reported R&D Expense increased by 1% in the year to date (5% at CER) to $3,968m. Core R&D Expense increased by 1% (4% at CER) to $3,826m, partly a result of investment in the development of the potential new oncology medicine, trastuzumab deruxtecan

–    Reported SG&A Expense increased by 16% (20% at CER) in the year to date to $8,656m, due to an increase in legal provisions and revaluation movements on acquisition-related liabilities in the year to date; Core SG&A Expense increased by 4% (8% at CER) to $6,464m, primarily reflecting growth in China, as well as ongoing additional support for new medicines. An update on legal matters and subsequent events is disclosed in Note 5 and Note 6

–    Reported Other Operating Income and Expense declined by 32% in the year to date (31% at CER) to $1,041m; Core Other Operating Income and Expense declined by 7% (6% at CER) to $1,060m

–    The Reported Operating Profit Margin declined in the year to date by one percentage point (two at CER) to 13%; the Core Operating Profit Margin increased by five percentage points to 28%

–    The Reported Tax Rate in the year to date was 27% (YTD 2018: 18%); the Core Tax Rate was 22% (YTD 2018: 19%). The tax rates in the year to date reflected the geographical mix of profits and the impact of collaboration and divestment activity

–    Reported EPS of $0.79 in the year to date, based on a weighted-average number of shares of 1,297m, represented a decline of 11% (15% at CER); Core EPS increased by 39% (38% at CER) to $2.61. In April 2019, the Company completed an issue of 44,386,214 new ordinary shares of $0.25 each at a price of £60.50 per share, resulting in an increase in share capital of $11m and an increase in share premium of $3,479m, net of transaction costs of $22m

–    The difference between the Reported and Core EPS year-on-year performance partly reflected the impact of a favourable $346m legal settlement in YTD 2018 that was recognised as income in Reported Other Operating Income and Expense. It was also a result of the aforementioned increase in legal provisions and revaluation movements on acquisition-related liabilities in 2019

–    The Company today upgrades its Product Sales guidance at CER for the year. Product Sales are now expected to increase by a low to mid-teens percentage; the prior guidance was for a low double-digit percentage increase

Commercial summary

Oncology

Sales growth of 50% in the year to date (54% at CER) to $6,393m, including:

–    Tagrisso sales of $2,305m, representing growth of 82% in the year to date (86% at CER). The performance included growth in Emerging Markets of 108% (120% at CER) to $553m that partly reflected the early-2019 inclusion of Tagrisso as a 2nd-line treatment for EGFR7-mutated (EGFRm) NSCLC8 on the China National Reimbursement List (NRDL). Tagrisso is now approved as a 1st-line treatment in most major markets

–    Imfinzi sales of $1,045m, representing growth of 182% (184% at CER). Commercial execution and favourable reimbursement decisions supported sales growth outside of the US. Europe sales increased significantly to $115m (YTD 2018: $9m), accompanying encouraging Japan sales of $149m (YTD 2018: $9m)

–    Lynparza sales of $847m, representing growth of 93% (98% at CER). The performance included growth in the US of 86% to $432m and Emerging Markets of 205% (227% at CER) to $101m as the medicine consolidated its leadership position in the poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP)-inhibitor class    

–    The performance from more-mature Oncology medicines in the year to date included a decline in Faslodex sales of 4% (1% at CER) to $726m and a 16% decline in Iressa sales (11% at CER) to $343m. The Company anticipates continued declines for both medicines, partly reflecting generic Faslodex competition in the US and the pricing impact on Iressa from centralised procurement in China and the success of Tagrisso; both medicines saw significant declines in the third quarter

–    Oncology sales growth in Emerging Markets of 42% (51% at CER) to $1,665m

New CVRM

Sales growth of 11% in the year to date (14% at CER) to $3,207m, including:

–    Brilinta sales of $1,153m, representing growth of 22% (26% at CER). The performance was bolstered by results in Emerging Markets, where sales grew by 50% in the year to date (59% at CER) to $348m. Patient uptake continued in the treatment of acute coronary syndrome and high-risk post-myocardial infarction

–    Farxiga sales of $1,124m, with growth of 13% (17% at CER), ahead of the impact of label updates to reflect results from the DECLARE CV outcomes trial (CVOT). The level of sales growth in the US was adversely impacted by gross-to-net adjustments; underlying demand remained strong

–    Bydureon sales of $410m, a decline of 8% (7% at CER), partly driven by the impact of production constraints in the first half for the new Bydureon BCise device and declining volumes for the dual-chamber pen

–    New CVRM sales growth in Emerging Markets of 37% (46% at CER) to $835m

Respiratory

Sales growth of 9% in the year to date (13% at CER) to $3,854m, including:

–    A Symbicort sales decline of 7% (4% at CER) to $1,783m, reflecting continued pricing pressure and the impact of managed-market rebates in the US. This was partially offset by Emerging Markets growth of 10% (18% at CER) to $401m

–    Pulmicort sales growth of 17% (23% at CER) to $1,053m; the majority of Pulmicort sales were in Emerging Markets. Q3 2019 global sales increased by 28% (31% at CER) to $337m

–    Fasenra sales of $498m, representing growth of 189% (193% at CER). Fasenra leads the medicine class for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma by new patient share in a number of key markets

–    Respiratory sales growth in Emerging Markets of 24% (31% at CER) to $1,419m

Emerging Markets

As the Company’s largest region, at 35% of total Product Sales, Emerging Markets sales increased by 19% in the year to date (26% at CER) to $6,074m, including:

–    A China sales increase of 30% (37% at CER) to $3,691m. Highlights included: 

–     Oncology sales growth of 58% (67% at CER) to $1,023m

–     New CVRM growth of 78% (88% at CER) to $359m

–    An ex-China sales increase of 5% (12% at CER) to $2,382m (Q3 2019: $839m, +12%, +15% at CER). All regions were in CER sales growth in the year to date, including: (ex-China) Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Brazil and Russia

Sustainability summary

In the year to date, AstraZeneca was recognised as a global sustainability leader:

–    The Company achieved fourth position overall in the pharmaceutical industry in the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). AstraZeneca maintained its 2018 overall score and achieved a perfect score of 100 in the areas of environmental reporting, labour-practice indicators, social reporting and health-outcome contribution. This marked the 18th time that AstraZeneca was included in the indices

–    The Company was again named as a member of the FTSE4Good Index Series, ranking in the 94th percentile of the healthcare industry, with perfect scores in climate change, anti-corruption, corporate governance and customer responsibility

Recent developments and progress against the Company’s sustainability priorities are reported below:

–    Access to healthcare: the Company celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) programme, conducting over 12 million blood-pressure screenings and identifying over two million elevated readings since its launch in 2014, working with collaborators across Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana

–    Environmental protection: AstraZeneca participated in Climate Week, taking part in events such as The Climate Group’s ‘Step Up: The Business Case for Greater Government Ambition’ panel, as the first pharmaceutical-company member of the global EV100 initiative

–    Ethics and transparency: the Company launched an employee campaign, ‘Speak Up – Your Voice Matters’ using internal social-media channels. The campaign encouraged honest and open dialogue in support of a healthy business culture, where people feel able to make their voices heard

A more extensive Sustainability update is provided later in this announcement.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer at AstraZeneca, commenting on the results said:

“With AstraZeneca growing at pace, our sales guidance has been upgraded for the second consecutive quarter. Another strong performance from our new medicines accompanied impressive results in our key markets, most notably in China, the US and Japan. The performance reinforces our confidence in delivering sustainable earnings growth.

We delivered further positive news for patients. Lynparza demonstrated its potential as a treatment for prostate cancer and as an expanded treatment for ovarian cancer. TagrissoImfinzi and PT010 also had positive data, and we delivered breakthrough data in heart failure for Farxiga.

We are continuing to ensure that we capture the benefits of our growth by balancing reinvesting in our business, delivering on our sustainability commitments, continuing to improve our operating leverage and cash generation.”