AstraZeneca says Covid vaccine sales top $1.0b

by AFP

LONDON – British pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca said Thursday that its Covid vaccine generated $1.2 billion (1.0 billion euros) in sales in the first half of the year.

The group shipped about 319 million doses worldwide during the period, which included $572 million of sales in Europe and $455 million in emerging markets.

The jab is one of the world’s leading vaccines and has been vital in Britain’s speedy vaccination drive — which enabled the economy to fully reopen this month.

“We have made dramatic progress with our Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria,” said chief executive Pascal Soriot in comments accompanying the results.

“As of today, AstraZeneca and our partners have released one billion doses to more than 170 countries.”

AstraZeneca developed the jab alongside the University of Oxford and sells it at cost without making a profit.

However, the jab has faced safety doubts and suspensions in some European nations over reports of rare blood clots.

The group added Thursday that net profit jumped 40 percent to $2.1 billion in the first half.

Total revenues increased by almost a quarter to $15.5 billion.

Stripping out the Covid vaccine, total revenues increased by 14 percent to about $14.4 billion.

“AstraZeneca has delivered another period of strong growth thanks to robust performances across all regions and disease areas,” said Soriot.

Longer term growth would be supported by the purchase of US biotech company Alexion.

“Just last week, we completed the acquisition of Alexion, an enormous milestone that will enable us to enhance our pipeline in rare diseases and immunology,” the CEO added.

As a result, the company lifted its full-year 2021 guidance.

Revenues excluding vaccine sales are now forecast to grow by a low-twenties percentage this year.