AstraZeneca sees 2022 growth as dividend increases

February 11, 2022: -On Thursday, AstraZeneca forecast higher 2022 sales and raised its annualized dividend after the drugmaker posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as it gets a lift from its Covid-19 antibody treatment and cancer drugs.

But the London-listed company warned that gross profit margins from coronavirus products were expected to be less than the company average for this year. In contrast, sales for Covid-19 products were expected to decline by a percentage in the low-to-mid 20s.

AstraZeneca has said that low-income nations would continue to receive its vaccine on a no-profit basis after it started making a modest profit on the shot set up a separate unit to focus on its coronavirus efforts and different respiratory infections.

“AstraZeneca continued on its strong growth trajectory in 2021, five of our medicines crossing a new blockbuster threshold,” Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker expected 2022 revenue to increase by a percentage in the high teens, with core earnings growing by a portion in the mid-to-high 20s. In 2021, overall sales jumped 38% to $37.42 billion at constant currency rates.

Analysts estimate $6.68 per share and sales of $42.73 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company, seen by analysts as one of the fastest-growing significant drugmakers mainly thanks to new cancer therapies, also said it would top up its annualized dividend by $0.10 to $2.90, the first year-on-year increase in a decade.