Roche announces strong sales for FY 2007

BASEL, Switzerland Roche recently released its full year report and said that strong sales of its anticancer drugs helped lift full-year net profit by 25 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Net income for the company rose to $10.48 billion from $8.48 billion a year ago. Sales reached $42.22 billion, a 10 percent jump from 2006. As a result, for the first time Roche beat its rival Novartis, which posted sales of $39.83 billion.

The figures include sales generated by its U.S. partner, biotechnology company Genentech, which is majority-owned by Roche. Without Genentech’s contribution Roche’s net profit attributable to shareholders was $8.96 billion last year, up 24 percent from a year earlier.

Roche said sales of the rheumatoid arthritis and non-Hodgkins lymphoma treatment Rituxan topped $5.05 billion in 2007, making it the company’s best-selling drug ahead of cancer medicines Herceptin and Avastin.

The company said sales of its anti-influenza drug Tamiflu dropped 19 percent to $1.92 billion, indicating that the period of strong government orders in the wake of fears over a pandemic bird flu outbreak was coming to an end.

In other news, Roche’s head of diagnostics division, Severin Schwan said he expects the acquisition of Ventana to be completed by the second quarter of 2008.

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