Dow Jones Newswires: Roche backs 2020 view as first-quarter sales rise

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Roche Holding AG said Wednesday that sales rose in the first quarter and backed its full-year outlook.

The Swiss pharma giant ROG, +0.35% said sales in the period came in at 15.14 billion Swiss francs ($15.61 billion) from CHF14.82 billion in the previous-year period. Analysts had forecast sales at CHF14.65 billion, according to a consensus compiled by FactSet.

Key growth drivers were cancer medicine Tecentriq, hemophilia medicine Hemlibra, multiple sclerosis medicine Ocrevus and breast cancer medicine Perjeta, according to the company.

Sales at the pharmaceuticals divisions came in at CHF12.26 billion, up 7% on year at constant exchange rates. Sales rose 5% to CHF2.88 billion at the diagnostics division.

Roche confirmed its outlook for 2020, saying it expects sales to grow in the low-to-mid single-digit range, at constant exchange rates, and targeting core earnings to grow broadly in line with sales. The company said it expects to increase its dividend further.

Roche said global supply chains for medicines and tests remain intact in spite of the coronavirus pandemic and market volatility has had a limited impact on its performance in the first quarter.