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Roche Q1 Sales Up 9%; Raises FY Outlook

Swiss drug major Roche (RHHBY) reported that its group sales for the first-quarter rose 9 percent to 14.83 billion Swiss francs from last year's 13.58 billion francs, while it was up 8 percent at constant exchange rates. The company raised outlook for 2019.

Sales in the Pharmaceuticals Division increased 10% to 11.9 billion francs. The growth drivers were the multiple sclerosis medicine Ocrevus and cancer medicines Perjeta and Tecentriq as well as the new haemophilia medicine Hemlibra. The strong uptake of newly introduced medicines was partially offset by lower sales of Herceptin and of MabThera/Rituxan, the company said.

In the US, sales increased 14%, led by Ocrevus, Hemlibra, Perjeta and Tecentriq. Ocrevus sales were driven by both new and continuing patient demand.

For 2019, Roche now expects sales to grow in the mid-single digit range, at constant exchange rates. Core earnings per share are targeted to grow broadly in line with sales, at constant exchange rates. It expects to further increase its dividend in Swiss francs.

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