Wednesday, 10 August, 2022
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AstraZeneca profits fall, Covid vaccine sales slide

Covid-vaccine maker AstraZeneca said Friday that profits fell sharply in the first half on ballooning costs linked to its takeover of US biotech firm Alexion.

The pharmaceutical group added that sales of its Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria slumped 49 percent in the second quarter.

Net profit slumped 64 percent to $746 million compared with the first six months of last year, AstraZeneca said in a statement.

Operating expenses jumped 33 percent, "reflecting the addition of Alexion, and continued investment in new launches and the pipeline" of drugs, the group said.

That offset a 48-percent jump in revenue to more than $22 billion.

Revenue rose strongly thanks to sales of Alexion medicines.

The group said annual revenue from Covid-19 medicines is anticipated to be broadly flat compared with 2021.

Astra said the majority of Vaxzevria revenue this year was set to come from initial contracts struck as the pandemic took hold.

Widespread vaccination across the European Union, combined with the less deadly Omicron variant, have seen the levels of people being hospitalised or dying from Covid drop dramatically.

AstraZeneca has meanwhile faced vast costs following its $39-billion takeover of US group Alexion in 2021.