AstraZeneca names new CFO as drug sales and profits drop
LONDON Oct 31 (Reuters) - Sales and profits continued to slide at drugmaker AstraZeneca in the third quarter, underscoring the turnaround challenge facing CEO Pascal Soriot, who has been in the job for just over a year.
Soriot named Marc Dunoyer as the group's new chief financial officer on Thursday, replacing Simon Lowth, whose departure had already been announced.
Sales fell by 6 percent to $6.25 billion, weighed down by loss of patent protection on key drugs - including top-selling cholesterol fighter Crestor in some markets - while earnings per share (EPS) tumbled 28 percent.
"Core" operating profit of $2.03 billion, which excludes certain items, generated EPS of $1.21. Analysts had, on average, forecast core EPS of $1.22 and sales of $6.44 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
The group reiterated its expectation for a mid-to-high single digit percentage fall in revenue this year, with earnings expected to decline significantly more, due to rising research and marketing costs.
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