Roche sales up 6 per cent

The healthcare firm's first quarter sales are up CHF12.2bn (Swiss Francs).

Roche, a Switzerland-based research-focused healthcare firm with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, has reported group sales of CHF12.2bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, an increase of 6 per cent, compared to CHF11.5bn for the same period in 2009.

Roche pharmaceuticals division's sales increased 6 per cent to CHF9.7bn from CHF9.2bn for the prior year period. Diagnostics division's sales were CHF2.5bn, an increase of 7 per cent, compared to CHF2.3bn for the year ago period.

Roche expects sales in 2010 for the pharmaceuticals Ddivision and for the group to increase in the mid-single-digit range in local currencies. In the diagnostics division, full-year sales are expected to grow significantly ahead of the market. In addition, by the end of the year Roche expects to have repaid a quarter of the debt raised to finance the Genentech transaction.

Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche, said: "With sales advancing 9 per cent, Roche is off to a very good start in 2010. Both divisions continued to outgrow their respective markets. We are thus fully on track for 2010.

"I am very pleased that, after discussions with the FDA, we are now planning to submit a US marketing application for our innovative breast cancer treatment T-DM1 this year, based on strong Phase II data in women who have not responded to prior treatments."