In keeping with AstraZeneca, gross sales elevated 10% in 2020 and gross sales are anticipated to develop

A box of vials with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is pictured on February 6, 2021 at Foch Hospital in Suresnes at the start of a vaccination campaign for health workers with the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine.

Alain Jocard | AFP | Getty Images

AstraZeneca announced on Thursday that product sales increased 10% in 2020. This year, the drug maker attracted attention for its work on developing a coronavirus vaccine.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company reported total product sales of $ 25.8 billion for the year. In the fourth quarter, sales rose 12% to just over $ 7 billion. The company said it was the first time in “many years” that quarterly product sales were this strong. Total revenue for the year was $ 26.6 billion and the fourth quarter was $ 7.4 billion.

CEO Pascal Soriot said last year’s performance was “a significant step forward for AstraZeneca. Despite the significant impact of the pandemic, we achieved double-digit sales growth.”

“The consistent successes in the pipeline, the accelerated performance of our business and the advancement of the COVID-19 vaccine have shown what we can achieve,” he added in a statement.

The company also kept its dividend unchanged for the full year at $ 2.80 per share.

AstraZeneca’s report comes as the UK, European Union and other countries rely heavily on the Covid vaccine in an attempt to end the public health crisis.

The company has announced that it will provide no-profit access to its vaccine for the “duration of the pandemic”, although the timing is uncertain. It is also committed to making the vaccine available on a permanent basis to nonprofits in low and middle income countries. Therefore, the current result did not include vaccine sales.

AstraZeneca, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, expects sales to grow by a “low-teens percentage” in 2021. The company also forecast “core earnings” per share of between $ 4.75 and $ 5. The guidelines do not include any revenue or profit impact from the sale of the Covid vaccine, AstraZeneca said. The company intends to separate these sales as of the next quarter.

The company’s shares listed in London and the United States changed little on Thursday.

Some controversy

AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed with Oxford University, was hailed as a game changer along with candidates from other pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Although clinical studies have shown the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be less effective than its competitors, the fact that it is cheaper and easier to store and transport has proven to be a boon to countries like the UK where it is in January was introduced. The swift introduction of vaccines is seen as critical to reopening economies that have been badly damaged by lockdowns and job losses.

The company has gotten some controversy over its vaccine.

Some drug regulators in Europe have stated that they will not recommend the vaccine for people over 65 – the target age group as the introduction wins steam – because there are supposedly no data to show its effectiveness in this age group.

In addition, South Africa suspended and then abandoned the use of the vaccine because of concerns that it would have limited effectiveness against a variant of the virus found there.

Independent experts advising the World Health Organization on vaccination recommended using AstraZeneca’s vaccine on Wednesday, even in countries where variants exist.

During the test, late-stage clinical trial results highlighting a higher rate of effectiveness after a dosing error highlighted eyebrows among experts, as well as questions about the results and the recommended dosing regimen (like most coronavirus vaccines currently in use) a two-dose shot).

AstraZeneca also got into hot water with the EU when the company said it wouldn’t be shipping as many vaccines to the block as expected in the spring, and blamed teething problems at its manufacturing facilities in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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