Basel-based Roche also reported that first-half net profit rose to 4.92 billion Swiss francs ($4.1 billion) from 3.97 billion francs in the same period a year earlier. That beat analysts' expectations.
Sales rose 15% to 22.83 billion francs ($19.0 billion), with sales of prescription drugs up 17% to 18.27 billion francs ($15.2 billion). Cancer medicines were up 22%.
Diagnostics sales rose 7% to 4.56 billion francs ($3.8 billion).
"Sales are in line with expectations, but operating profit is higher and that trickles down all the way to the bottom line," said Karl-Heinz Koch, a pharmaceutical analyst for Zurich-based private bank Vontobel.
Roche shares rose 2.9% to 220.60 francs ($183.83) in Zurich.
Drug Sales to Rise
The company reiterated that it expects group and prescription drug sales to rise at least 10% in local currencies.
"We have positioned ourselves even more strongly for future growth through good progress in our R&D projects and a number of strategic acquisitions," Humer said.
Roche's results contrast with those from Pfizer, which posted a 48% drop in second-quarter profit on Wednesday because of lagging sales of cholesterol drug Lipitor and generic competition for other drugs. Swiss rival Novartis AG posted an 18 percent rise in second-quarter earnings on Tuesday
Sales of cancer drugs MabThera, Herceptin and Avastin were a bit below what analysts had expected, but Roche benefited from better-than-expected sales of its flu treatment Tamiflu, which rose 39% to 1.32 billion francs ($1.1 billion).
Tamiflu continues to benefit as governments stockpile the drug in case the bird flu virus that has ravaged poultry stocks in Asia mutates into a form that can be easily transmitted among humans, sparking an influenza pandemic.
Sales of MabThera, the company's best-selling drug, rose 16% to 2.7 billion francs ($2.25 billion). Sales of breast cancer drug Herceptin soared 30% to 2.38 billion francs ($1.98 billion). Avastin, which treats tumors, had sales of 1.91 billion francs ($1.59 billion), up 40%.