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Roche profits tumble in first six months of 2012

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Roche profits tumble in first six months of 2012
17:28 CEST+02:00
Swiss pharma giant Roche on Thursday said it was on course to meet its objectives despite a 17-percent drop in first half profits to 4.4 billion francs ($4.5 billion).

The figure was linked to restructuring charges associated with the closure of its US research and development facility in Nutley, New Jersey, Roche said in a statement.

The Nutley closure -- involving the loss of 1,000 jobs -- will result in savings of 370 million francs, Roche said, although the measure cost 858 million francs.

Further streamlining in the company's diabetes and applied science sectors cost 289 million francs and another 530 million francs was spent on global restructuring, Roche said.

Operating profit was up seven percent to 8.6 billion francs and the company's turnover rose to 22.4 billion euros, up three percent on 2011, despite downward pressure on prices, particularly in
Europe.

The pharmaceuticals sector achieved the best results, with operating profit up nine percent.

The main growth drivers were cancer medicines, the hepatitis drug Pegasys, rheumatoid arthritis treatment Actemra/RoActemra and the clinical laboratory business.

Looking ahead, Roche chief executive Severin Schwan said the restructuring measures would enable the group to invest in clinical trials and that "barring unforeseen events", he expected "low to mid-single digit sales growth".

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