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Roche FY19 Net Profit Up 30%; Sees Growth In FY20 Core Earnings, Sales

Swiss drug major Roche Group (RHHBY) reported Thursday that its fiscal 2019 IFRS net income rose 30% to 14.11 billion Swiss francs from last year's 10.87 billion francs, reflecting strong underlying operating results and the base effect of high goodwill impairments in 2018.

Core earnings per share for the year were 20.16 francs, compared to 18.14 francs a year ago. Core operating profit grew 10% from last year to 22.48 billion francs.

Group sales increased 9% at constant exchange rates and 8% in Swiss francs to 61.47 billion francs from 56.85 billion francs a year ago.

Sales in the Pharmaceuticals Division increased 10% from last year to 48.52 billion francs. Key growth drivers were the multiple sclerosis medicine Ocrevus, the new haemophilia medicine Hemlibra. and cancer medicines Tecentriq and Perjeta.

Diagnostics Division sales grew 1% to 12.95 billion francs. The business area Centralised and Point of Care Solutions was the main contributor, with growth driven by the immunodiagnostics business.

Further, the company's board of directors has proposed a dividend increase to 9.000 francs per share.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2020, Roche expects sales to grow in the low-to-mid-single digit range, at constant exchange rates. The company projects core earnings per share to grow broadly in line with sales, at constant exchange rates.

Roche said it expects to further increase its dividend in Swiss francs.

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