Strong operating results for Roche in 2008

RocheIn 2008, Roche continued its strong sales performance. Total sales grew by 6% in local currencies (-1% in Swiss francs; 10% in US dollars) to 45.6 billion Swiss francs, with the Pharmaceuticals Division representing 79% of Group sales and the Diagnostics Division contributing 21%. The sales increase in the underlying business more than compensated for the anticipated decline in Tamiflu pandemic sales of 1.6 billion Swiss francs. Local currency sales growth excluding Tamiflu pandemic sales was 10%. Both the Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics Divisions grew well ahead of their respective markets.

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.

Group

  • 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

  • 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.

Diagnostics

  • 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.

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."

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2008 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.0 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.7 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested nearly 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2008. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.roche.com.

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