July 24, 2014 / 5:21 AM / in 3 years

Roche first half net profit hit by diagnostics writedown

BASEL, July 24 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche posted weaker-than-expected net profit for the first half, hit by a writedown on its tissue diagnostics business.

The world’s largest maker of cancer drugs said on Thursday net profit fell 7 percent to 5.64 billion Swiss francs ($6.25 billion), missing the average analyst forecast for 5.98 billion francs in a Reuters poll.

This figure included impairment charges of 414 million francs related to intangible assets in tissue diagnostics.

Solid sales of Roche’s breast cancer medicines and tight cost control helped the Swiss drugmaker limit the impact of the strong Swiss franc on sales, which fell 1 percent to 22.97 billion francs.

The Basel-based drugmaker posted core earnings pers share of 7.57 francs, slightly ahead of forecasts.

$1 = 0.9023 Swiss Francs Reporting by Caroline Copley

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