Basel-based pharmaceutical company Roche released what it considered “strong 2013 results” on Thursday. However, profits and dividend increase were slightly lower than expected.
Roche’s net profits increased 18% in 2013 to CHF11.4 billion ($12.7 billion), falling short of the CHF11.62 billion average forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Driven by strong demand for its cancer and rheumatoid arthritis medicines, Roche’s full-year sales increased 3% to CHF46.78 billion, in line with forecasts.
Roche said it planned to raise dividends 6% to CHF7.80 and expected to further increase the payout in the future. It was the company’s 27th consecutive year of dividend growth. Nevertheless, analysts in the Reuters poll were looking for a dividend of CHF7.98.
Roche, the world’s largest producer of cancer drugs, had success in 2013 with several medicines it hopes will supplement or replace its older treatments. It hopes these drugs will help it forestall competition from other companies’ cheaper, copycat versions.
Sales of Perjeta, a treatment for women with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, rose nearly fivefold to CHF326 million, the company reported.
The company announced it expected sales in 2014 to grow at low- to mid-single-digit rates.
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