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AstraZeneca Reports Strong Rise in Earnings

From Associated Press (January 28, 2010)

LONDON_Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC on Thursday reported a 26 percent jump in fourth quarter net profit to $1.56 billion after booking strong sales for its swine flu drug.

Full-year net profit surged 23 percent to $7.54 billion as the company also performed well in emerging markets and saw off some challenges from generic rivals.

Revenue rose 9 percent over the quarter to $8.95 billion, and lifted 4 percent over the year to $32.8 billion.

However, AstraZeneca acknowledged that the outlook for 2010 is tougher as some of its key products come off patent.

The company, Britain's second-largest drug maker behind GlaxoSmithKline PLC, also announced plans for a $1 billion share buyback this year.

Posted: January 2010