LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca's
Earnings will decline "significantly more than revenue" this year as operating costs rise, the company said.
Chief Executive Pascal Soriot hopes eventually to turn the group around by investing in existing growth areas like emerging markets, diabetes care and the new heart drug Brilinta. He is also weighing the case for acquisitions.
Soriot, who joined from Roche
Sales in the fourth quarter of 2012 fell 16 percent to $7.28 billion, generating "core" earnings, which exclude certain items, down 3 percent at $1.56 a share. The slower decline in earnings reflected lower costs in the quarter and a favourable tax adjustment.
Industry analysts, on average, had forecast sales in the quarter of $7.20 billion and earnings of $1.35 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler)
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