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AstraZeneca expects sales to accelerate in 2022

AstraZeneca expects sales to accelerate in 2022

AstraZeneca said on Thursday it expects sales to pick up in 2022 and raised its annual dividend for the first time in a decade after reporting a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

The British pharmaceutical group, which benefited in particular last year from demand for its antibody treatment against COVID-19, nevertheless warned that this demand should slow down this year.

Sales of products related to COVID-19 should therefore decline between 20% and 25% in 2022 and their margins should be lower than the group's average margin.

The expected decline in sales of COVID-19 vaccines should be partly offset by growth in sales of the Evusheld antibody treatment to treat the disease, AstraZeneca said.

The British-Swedish drugmaker expects its revenue to grow in the range of 15% and 19% in 2019 and its profit to grow in the range of 25% and 29%.

In 2021, revenue jumped 38% to $37.42 billion (€32.74 billion) at constant currency, with sales of $3.9 billion for the COVID-19 vaccine.

On the London Stock Exchange, AstraZeneca shares gained more than 2.5% at midday, investors being reassured about forecasts for 2022.

The group also said it would increase its annual dividend by 10 cents to $2.90, the first year-on-year increase in a decade.