AstraZeneca made €3.22bn in 2020

Drugmaker expects to continue to grow revenue in 2021 regardless of Oxford vaccine

2 min
Headquarters of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneda, Cambridge

LondonAnglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca, which is behind the global scale production of Oxford's covid-19 vaccine, reported on Thursday that its 2020 revenues rose 10% year-on-year to $26.6bn (€21.94bn). Sales of covid-19 vaccines were just $2bn, yet AstraZeneca posted pre-tax profits of $3.9bn in 2020 (€3.22bn).

The good results were also reflected in the value of the shares, which posted basic earnings per share of 18%, to $4.02. A rise that, according to the company's forecasts, this 2021 should be even higher, to 4.75-5 dollars, which would mean a growth of between 18% and 24%, much higher than the 15% in 2020. The pipeline of new drugs accounted for the most substantial part of total revenues.

Pascal Soriot, CEO and the man at the center of the controversy over the vaccine shortage in the European Union, has expressed his conviction that the company will continue to deliver "more progress for patients and sustained, compelling results.

In fact, the company expects profit growth for 2021 to be even higher than originally expected, after sales forecasts for the last quarter of 2020 were better than analysts thought. Demand for anti-cancer products and other therapies will be key, as they should cushion the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Last year was decisive for the company, not only because of the partnership it established with Oxford University, but also because at the end of the year it reached a historic agreement with American pharmaceutical company Alexion worth $39bn, in an attempt to diversify its business based on products against cancer, betting on drugs against rare diseases and immunology.

In the results presentation, the company also said that its forecast does not include any impact from sales of the Oxford vaccine, adding that it will report sales of this vaccine separately from the first quarter of 2021. The company has pledged not to profit from the vaccine during the pandemic

In this regard, it is relevant to recall that last week the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which has a messenger RNA vaccine developed with the German biotech company BioNTech, said it expected revenues of $15bn.