AstraZeneca reports boost in cancer drug sales

LONDON — Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca is reporting its first quarterly sales in years on the back of new cancer treatments.

The company said Friday that product sales rose 4 percent in the fourth quarter to $5.49 billion, buoyed by new drugs such as bladder cancer treatment Imfinzi, and lymphoma medication Calquence.

It was the first increase since the third quarter of 2014.

AstraZeneca says it expects product sales to increase "in the low single digits" this year.

Despite encouraging news on the sales front, net income fell 29 percent to $1.3 billion. Core operating profit, which excludes restructuring and acquisition-related costs to give a better picture of underlying performance, fell 12 percent to $1.79 billion.

CEO Pascal Soriot says the sales increase shows AstraZeneca is "steadily turning a corner."

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