Thursday, August 6, 1998 Published at 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Business: The Company File
Pound batters drug giant
Drug sales are strong..but not strong enough
Zeneca, the UK pharmaceuticals company, saw £81m wiped off its profits by the high pound.
The company reported overall profits of £654m for the first half of the year, down 2% and just below the consensus forecast of £660m.
Sales were up 5% to £2.9bn ($4.7bn), with drug sales particularly strong in the US.
But stripping out currency effects, profits would have been up 10% on sales 11% higher.
Growth strong in US market
Zeneca's drug sales were particularly strong in the US market, with a strong 24% increase.
Zeneca specialises in anti-cancer drugs, and sales increased for its three major products: Zoladex, prostate cancer drug Casodex, and breast cancer drug Nolvadex.
Its new anti-migrane Zomig and anti-asthma drug Accolate were also doing well, with a roll-out in the UK and Europe due to boost sales of the latter.
Growth in Europe was 9%, while drug sales in Japan fell 1% following the weak economy and firmer government price controls.
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