Revenues at AstraZeneca were given a boost in the first quarter by the pharmaceutical company's diabetes franchise, but earnings fell by more than expected.
AstraZeneca, whose share price surged earlier this week on speculation it could be susceptible to a takeover bid from Pfizer, said that revenue totalled $6.42bn in the three months to March 31st, up 3% at constant exchange rates
(CER) and ahead of analysts' forecast for $6.39bn.
The "consolidation" of the company's diabetes franchise - following the multi-billion dollar
buyout of partner Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) completed in February - contributed two percentage points to revenue growth, the company said.
"The first quarter has seen continued momentum across the business and our revenue growth reflects the increasing contribution from the five growth platforms that showed strong performance," said Chief Executive Pascal Soriot.
However, despite the top-line growth, core earnings per share (EPS) declined by 11% at CER to $1.17, mainly due to investment in the company's key growth platforms and rapidly progressing pipeline. The consensus estimate was for EPS of $1.20.
Core pre-tax profit declined by 13% at CER to $1.83bn.
Meanwhile, reported EPS totalled just $0.40 for the quarter, down 40% at CER over the year due to the loss on disposal of Astra's R&D site at Alderley Park and the impact of the acquisition of BMS's share of the global diabetes alliance.
Soriot added: "We are investing in our rapidly progressing pipeline and the key platforms that are the backbone of our strategy to return to growth. To further concentrate organisational focus, we will continue to redeploy our resources in our core priorities and pursue opportunities that maximise the value of our pipeline and portfolio."
AstraZeneca was making headlines on Tuesday after it was reported the the company had held informal discussions with Pfizer over a tentative $100bn (£60bn) approach from the US pharma group. The UK-listed firm is said to have rejected the offer.
Wider pre-tax losses and a slight decrease in the annual profit margin sent PuriCore shares
tumbling more than 11% on Thursday.
The firm, which develops products that protect against the spread of infectious pathogens, posted a pre-tax loss for 2013 of $6.49m, compared to $3.15m in 2012, hit by increased cost of sales and an exceptional loss on the discount of a convertible bond.
The top line rose from $47.36m to $54.75m year-on-year, driven by its Supermarket Retail business, particularly its capital sales and capital leases. Its gross profit margin decreased slightly to 32.4% from 32.7% a year earlier.
During the 12-month period the group initiated a multi-year growth strategy that focused on increasing recurring revenue through new products and partnerships to achieve longer-term sustainable growth in the business and improved margins. Both revenue and earnings growth before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were ahead of market expectations, particularly in the second half of the year.
Michael Ashton, the Executive Chairman of PuriCore, said: "We remain focused on our growth strategy of delivering more predictable recurring revenue and improving margins. In the Supermarket Retail sector, we plan to expand the sales force and drive growth in revenue and product usage of ProduceFresh.
Additionally, we will place more attention on the Floral market, increasing resources to drive FloraFresh sales and expand the target market to florists and into the floral supply chain.
"Consistent with market expectations, revenue is expected to soften in the short term as we balance declining revenue from capital equipment and grow consumables and other recurring revenue. In the UK, we remain focused on growing recurring revenue and on marketing our new Storage and Drying Cabinets and the new RapidAER.
"Our new US and Middle Eastern partnerships in Health Sciences, plus other international partnerships being pursued in all business areas, offer the opportunity to leverage greater marketing resources with targeted investment whilst delivering increased licensing and product revenue."