July 25, 2019 / 5:19 AM / a year ago

Roche lifts full-year outlook after H1 sales rise 18%

ZURICH, July 25 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche lifted its full-year sales outlook after revenue in the first half rose 18 percent, helped by newer drugs including multiple sclerosis medicine Ocrevus and cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq.

Roche now expects 2019 sales to rise at the mid- to high-single digit percentage rate, at constant exchange rates, from the previous target of mid-single digit sales growth. Profit in the first half rose 18 percent to 8.8 billion Swiss francs ($8.93 billion), while sales rose 8 percent to 30.5 billion francs, the company said in a statement.

Roche added that its delayed $4.3 billion takeover of gene therapy maker Spark Therapeutics is currently expected to be completed in 2019, and that it is working with U.S. and British regulators who are scrutinizing the deal. ($1 = 0.9850 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill)

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