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Covid vaccines help AstraZeneca sales jump 50% in third quarter

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AstraZeneca has revealed that revenues jumped by 50% in the latest quarter as it was buoyed by more than 1 billion dollars (£780 million) worth of Covid-19 vaccine sales.

The pharmaceutical company held firm on its earnings guidance for the year as it hailed “strong revenue growth and exceptional pipeline delivery”.

It saw total revenues jump to 9.87 billion US dollars (£7.37 billion) for the quarter, with revenues for the year to date increased by 32%.

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AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot (AstraZeneca/PA)

It comes after AstraZeneca, which said it will not take a profit from its coronavirus shot during the pandemic, unveiled plans to set up a separate arm for vaccines and antibody treatments which focus on Covid-19.

The pharmaceutical company has however said that it has started signing commercial contracts to supply the vaccine which will see “modest profitability” for the business.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot told reporters: “We are moving to an endemic phase and next year is the target for these commercial contracts.”

The company added that profit from the vaccine will offset costs related to its antibody cocktail developed to prevent and treat Covid.

AstraZeneca reported that product sales have risen by a third, with the trend set to continue as it announced eight positive phase three trials, including treatments for liver and prostate cancer.

Mr Soriot said: “AstraZeneca’s scientific leadership continues to provide strong revenue growth and exceptional pipeline delivery, with eight positive late-stage readouts across seven medicines since June, including our long-acting antibody combination showing promise in both prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

“The addition of Alexion furthers our commitment to bring transformative therapies to patients around the world, and I am proud of our colleagues’ ongoing dedication and focus.

“Our broad portfolio of medicines and diversified geographic exposure provides a robust platform for long-term sustainable growth. Following accelerated investment in upcoming launches after positive data flow, we expect a solid finish to the year and our earnings guidance is unchanged.”

Shares in the company were 6.7% lower at 8,812p on Friday.

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