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Strong operating results for Roche in 2008


Roche have reported strong results from 2008 despite the challenging market environment.

Double-digit sales growth – core earnings per share at constant exchange rates above 2007 level – dividend increase by 9% to 5.00 Swiss francs proposed

• Roche reports strong results in a challenging market environment: Group sales up significantly, increasing by 10% in local currencies excluding Tamiflu pandemic sales.
• Strong organic growth of key products more than outweighs lower Tamiflu pandemic sales. Including Tamiflu pandemic sales, Group sales in local currency rise 6%.
• Operating profit exceeds last year’s record by 4% in local currencies, reaching 13.9 billion Swiss francs despite increased level of R&D investment.
• Net income down by 5% in Swiss francs to 10.8 billion Swiss francs, primarily due to the strong Swiss franc, but also to lower net financial income.
• Core Earnings per share at constant exchange rates 2% above previous year’s record level.

• Pharmaceuticals sales advance 10% — twice the global market growth rate. This is the sixth double-digit increase in as many years.
• Oncology product sales grow by 15% to 19.7 billion Swiss francs. For the first time, three cancer products achieve sales of over 5 billion Swiss francs.
• Operating profit margin increases by 0.7 percentage points to 36.2% despite significantly lower Tamiflu pandemic sales and increased investments in the development pipeline.
• Avastin receives accelerated approval for breast cancer in US; applications for approval in brain cancer filed in US and EU.
• Actemra/RoActemra approved for rheumatoid arthritis in Japan, EU and Switzerland; additional data will be submitted to US FDA in 2009.
• Twelve major phase III programmes initiated.
• Acquisitions of Piramed, Mirus and ARIUS significantly strengthen R&D pipeline with new compounds and technology platforms.

• Divisional sales show double-digit growth, rising 10%.
• Operating profit margin declines 5.3 percentage points to 12.3%, mostly due to acquisition impacts and strong competition in the US diabetes care market.
• Integration of Tissue Diagnostics (Ventana) completed; the new business’s performance exceeds expectations.

• Above-market sales growth in both divisions.
• Mid-single-digit sales growth for both divisions and Group.
• Core Earnings per share target to remain at the high level of 2008 in spite of increased investments in research and development and expected lower net financial result.

Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche, on the Group’s 2008 results: “Roche continued the positive trend of recent years. Once more sales by both the Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics Divisions grew considerably faster than the market. Core Earnings per share in local currencies also rose again.”

Speaking of Roche’s future strategic direction, Schwan said: “In these times of economic upheaval it is more important than ever that we adhere rigorously to our strategy. We will continue to focus on our core pharmaceuticals and diagnostics businesses. Our aim remains to offer patients ever better treatments that are tailored to their condition.”


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