Swiss drugmaker Roche lifted its 2018 outlook on Thursday for the second time this year, after first-half sales and profit easily beat analyst expectations on the strength of newer drugs including multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment Ocrevus.
First-half sales rose 7 percent to 28.1 billion Swiss francs ($28.35 billion), compared to the average forecast in a Reuters poll of 27.5 billion francs. Its core operating result rose to 11.2 billion francs, compared to 10.369 billion in the poll.
Speaking to CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche, Roche chief executive Severin Schwan shared his optimism over the earnings beat.
"I'm very pleased about the strong set of numbers, it is entirely driven by the uptick of our new medicine," he said, describing Roche's MS treatment as having been "the best launch in history of Roche ever."
"We're only in the beginning, so I see continued growth from the new medicines, which help us offset and actually overcompensate for the entry of biosimilars, and that has been also the reason why we have raised our guidance for the full year."