LONDON – Anglo-Swedish drug-maker AstraZeneca PLC reported a 7 per cent fall in net profit for the first quarter of 2015, as cheaper copies of one of its bestsellers ate into sales.
Net profit for the three months to March 31 was $1.37 billion, down from $1.47 billion a year earlier. Revenue fell 6 per cent to $6.06 billion.
Sales were hit by the U.S. patent expiring on heartburn drug Nexium. The patent on cholesterol drug Crestor, another big seller, expires next year.
But AstraZeneca reported 45 per cent growth in sales of heart drug Brilinta, and 18 per cent growth in emerging markets.
Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said AstraZeneca was bolstering its oncology division, with 72 trials of cancer drugs underway.
AstraZeneca shares fell 2.4 per cent to 47.13 pounds ($71.35) in London trading on Friday.