AstraZeneca forecasts 2021 growth after fourth – quarter sales beat

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca on Thursday forecast 2021 revenue growth after the COVID-19 vaccine developer beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter product sales, as a wide range of therapies helped cushion the hit from the pandemic.

The British drugmaker said it expects 2021 revenues to increase by a low teens percentage, with “faster growth” in core earnings to $4.75 to $5.00 per share. Quarterly product sales of $7.01 billion surpassed a company-compiled consensus of $6.81 billion.

2020 was a crucial year for AstraZeneca. It teamed up with the University of Oxford to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and made its largest ever deal by buying U.S. drugmaker Alexion for $39 billion as it bet on rare-disease and immunology drugs.

The London-listed company said its forecast did not include any impact from its COVID-19 vaccine, adding it intended to break out sales from the shot beginning in the first quarter this year.

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