January 30, 2020 / 6:22 AM / 24 days ago

Roche 2019 net profit rises by a third, forecasts 2020 growth

BASEL, Switzerland, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Roche’s 2019 net profit rose nearly a third as rising sales of newer drugs like Hemlibra and Ocrevus offset the declines of its older, off-patent medicines. Goodwill writeoffs were also lower, the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday.

Full-year net profit was 14.1 billion Swiss francs ($14.57 billion), up from 10.9 billion francs in 2018, the company said. Sales rose to 61.5 billion francs, up 9% at constant exchange rates from the 56.8 billion francs of last year and matching the company’s target of high single-digit sales growth.

Roche adopted nearly identical guidance from the start of last year, calling for 2020 sales to grow in the low- to mid-single digit range, at constant exchange rates, with core earnings per share growth broadly matching that. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)

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