Demand for COVID-19 tests eases as Roche sees slower sales growth in 2022

Reuters, 3 February – Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, said revenues would drop this year as it anticipates lower demand for its COVID-19 drugs and diagnostics.

Because it anticipates demand for its COVID-19 drugs and diagnostics to decline, it forecast currency-adjusted 2022 sales to remain flat or rise in the low single digits, down from last year’s 9 percent growth.

COVID-19 medications and diagnostics revenues are expected to drop by roughly 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.17 billion) to about 5 billion francs, according to Roche.

In 2021, it expected a slight increase in profits as strong demand for COVID diagnostic tools and new prescriptions for treatments such Hemlibra for hemophilia and cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq offset a drop in sales of older cancer drugs.

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It suggested a dividend increase of 9.30 Swiss francs per share.

At constant currency rates, it expects core earnings per share to climb in the “low to mid-single digits” this year, including the accretive impact of the recent buyback of shares formerly held by competitor Novartis (NOVN.S).

Its Ronapreve COVID-19 antibody treatment, developed in collaboration with Regeneron (REGN.O), was discovered to have lost its neutralizing effectiveness against the Omicron strain late last year.

(1 Swiss franc = 0.9204 Swiss francs)

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