Higher taxes hit AstraZeneca

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Patents expiring and higher tax charges have hit second-quarter profits at AstraZeneca, Britain’s second-largest drug maker.

Turnover fell by 4 per cent to $6.2 billion (£4.1bn) in the three months to 30 June, with the end of patents wiping $500m off sales, but growth in emerging markets, Japan and from its diabetes, heart and lung medicines adding a combined $400m.

Core operating profits in the second quarter dropped by 10 per cent to just under $2.1bn following higher tax rates.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “We have made real progress in the second quarter against our strategic priorities despite the anticipated impact on revenue of the loss of exclusivity for some brands.

“We continue to invest in distinctive science, our pipeline projects, products and key markets and our five key growth platforms delivered a double-digit increase in revenue contribution.”

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