Switzerland's Roche sees 1st-half profit drop on franc strength, one-time effects; revenue up

BERLIN – Drug maker Roche Holding AG says its first-half profit was weighed down by the surging Swiss franc and one-time effects, while solid sales of cancer treatments helped push revenue higher.

Roche, which reports earnings every six months, said Thursday that net income for the January-June period was 5.25 billion francs ($5.5 billion) — down 7 per cent from 5.64 billion francs a year earlier.

Revenue rose 3 per cent to 23.59 billion francs from 22.97 billion francs. Roche said it saw particularly strong increases in sales of breast cancer drugs.

Roche pointed to “the significant negative currency impact” as a factor in the drop in profit, along with factors such as the impact of recent acquisitions including that of InterMune, a developer of lung disease treatments.