AstraZeneca forecasts 2021 growth after fourth-quarter sales beat


(Reuters) – AstraZeneca on Thursday forecast 2021 revenue growth after the COVID-19 vaccine developer beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter product sales, as a wide range of therapies helped cushion the hit from the pandemic.

The British drugmaker said it expects 2021 revenues to increase by a low teens percentage, with “faster growth” in core earnings to $4.75 to $5.00 per share. Quarterly product sales of $7.01 billion surpassed a company-compiled consensus of $6.81 billion.

2020 was a crucial year for AstraZeneca. It teamed up with the University of Oxford to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and made its largest ever deal by buying U.S. drugmaker Alexion for $39 billion as it bet on rare-disease and immunology drugs.

The London-listed company said its forecast did not include any impact from its COVID-19 vaccine, adding it intended to break out sales from the shot beginning in the first quarter this year.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt. Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Mark Potter)



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