Roche announces sales up 7 percent in first half

(AP) -- Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced Tuesday a 7 percent rise in its first-half sales to SFr13.4 billion ($ 8.5 billion).

This content was published on July 13, 1999 - 10:06

(AP) -- Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced Tuesday a 7 percent rise in its first-half sales to SFr13.4 billion ($8.5 billion).

Roche said it expects "barring extraordinary events, another good result" for the full year following the sales figure, up from SFr12.53 billion ($7.9 billion) in the first half of 1998.

First-half profits, which will be announced at a later date, should be up from a year ago, the company said.

But those expectations exclude special charges related to its involvement in a vitamins price-fixing scheme, the company said.

In May, the U.S. Justice Department said Roche and BASF AG of Germany had agreed to plead guilty and pay a record $725 million criminal fine for engaging in a worldwide conspiracy to raise and fix the prices of vitamins. Roche's share was $500 million.

The forecast also excludes the results of Roche's agreement to buy outstanding shares of U.S. biotech firm Genentech Inc. and then make a public offering to sell around 17 percent of the shares,
Roche said.

In March, Roche said its profits for 1998 were up 3 percent on the previous year at SFr4.39 ($2.8 billion).

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