Drugmaker Roche Lifts Sales Forecast as Chinese Demand Soars

by swisschambei in Engineering / Manufacturing

Swiss drugmaker Roche lifted its 2019 sales target for the third time this year, helped by newer medicines and as China bought more cancer drugs to treat a disease blamed for a quarter of the nation’s annual deaths. Roche’s full-year revenue is now seen growing at a high-single-digit percentage rate, the Basel-based company said, to what would easily top USD 60 billion (EUR 54.20 billion). That is up from the July’s mid- to high-single digit growth estimate. The new forecast sets a high bar for Swiss rival Novartis, which reports results next week. Over a decade, China has gone from Roche’s 10th biggest market to its second-largest behind the United States, with CHF 4.5 billion (EUR 4.1 billion) in 2018 sales. The trend has accelerated, with growth in China topping 50 per cent over the first nine months, about double 2018’s rate. Cancer has been on the rise in China, driven by air pollution and high rates of smoking. Water pollution and excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides have also been blamed for an increase in rural cancer rates.

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