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Roche lifts full-year outlook after first-half year sales rise 18%

Reuters with CNBC
Key Points
  • Roche added that its delayed $4.3 billion takeover of gene therapy maker Spark Therapeutics is currently expected to be completed in 2019, and that it is working with U.S. and British regulators who are scrutinizing the deal.
  • "We are very confident we can answer all the questions which we will get from the authorities and then we will close the transaction by the end of the year," Schwan said. 
VIDEO4:0104:01
Confident we'll acquire Spark Therapeutics by end of 2019: Roche CEO


Swiss drugmaker Roche lifted its full-year sales outlook after revenue in the first half rose 18 percent, helped by newer drugs including multiple sclerosis medicine Ocrevus and cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq.

Speaking to CNBC's Julianna Tatelbaum, the company's CEO Severin Schwan said he was "very pleased with the result for the first six months." He added that these results were "highly driven by the demand for our new medicines."

Roche now expects 2019 sales to rise at the mid- to high-single digit percentage rate, at constant exchange rates, from the previous target of mid-single digit sales growth. Profit in the first half rose 18 percent to 8.8 billion Swiss francs ($8.93 billion), while sales rose 8 percent to 30.5 billion francs, the company said in a statement.

Roche added that its delayed $4.3 billion takeover of gene therapy maker Spark Therapeutics is currently expected to be completed in 2019, and that it is working with U.S. and British regulators who are scrutinizing the deal.

"We are very confident we can answer all the questions which we will get from the authorities and then we will close the transaction by the end of the year," Schwan said.

At the same time, Roche is set to keep looking for further acquisitions.

"We will always continue to look for smaller and mid sized acquisitions, bolt on acquisitions, product or technologies which build out our franchise," Schwan told CNBC.