Media Release

Basel, 13 October 2011

Roche posts solid sales performance in first nine months, achieves significant progress with personalised healthcare approaches

  • Group sales rise 2% at CER1 (-12% in Swiss francs; +7% in US dollars), excluding Tamiflu
  • Significant foreign exchange impact of -13% due to appreciation of Swiss franc; overall Group sales at 31.5 billion Swiss francs
  • Pharmaceuticals sales excluding Tamiflu rise 1% (-13% in Swiss francs; +6% in US dollars) and Diagnostics sales 6% (-8% in Swiss francs; +11% in US dollars)
  • Major drivers are Roche’s leading cancer medicines Herceptin (+8%) and MabThera/Rituxan (+7%), eye medication Lucentis (+26%), rheumatoid arthritis medicine Actemra (+86%) and Professional Diagnostics business (+9%)
  • Successful US launch of targeted skin cancer medication Zelboraf and companion diagnostic cobas BRAF Mutation Test following FDA approvals in August; EU approval expected in Q1 2012.
  • EU expert panel recommends approval of Avastin as front-line therapy for ovarian cancer
  • Positive results from 7 phase III registration studies in first 9 months, including new data in July for targeted breast cancer medicine pertuzumab
  • Full-year outlook for 2011 confirmed
Nine months sale Jan-Sep

Sales in millions of CHF
% change


20112010At CER*In CHFIn USD
Pharmaceuticals Division24,39728,395-1-144
Excluding Tamiflu24,09627,5871-136
United States9,10410,8781-161
Excluding Tamiflu8,93410,6751-161
Western Europe6,2107,295-4-153
Excluding Tamiflu6,1897,292-4-153
Japan2,7123,137-6-145
Excluding Tamiflu2,6432,949-2-109
International**6,3717,0851-109
Excluding Tamiflu6,3306,6716-515
Diagnostics Division7,0957,7326-811
Roche Group31,49236,1270-136
Excluding Tamiflu31,19135,3192-127

* Constant exchange rates versus YTD Sept. 2010;
**Asia–Pacific, CEMAI (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Indian Subcontinent), Latin America, Canada, Others

Commenting on the Group’s 2011 performance to date, Roche CEO Severin Schwan said: “Roche’s solid sales performance in the third quarter is in line with our expectations. We’re on track to achieve our targets for 2011. The successful US launch of our new melanoma medicine Zelboraf and the diagnostic cobas BRAF test has strengthened our leading position in personalised healthcare. The good results we have achieved with new medicines in seven late-stage clinical trials so far this year further enhance our prospects for future growth.”

Solid growth in first nine months

In the first nine months of 2011 Group sales at constant exchange rates2 increased by 2% (-12% in Swiss francs, +7% in US dollars); this is excluding Tamiflu sales, which as expected were significantly lower than in the previous year. Group sales overall were stable (-13% in Swiss francs; +6% in US dollars) at 31.5 billion Swiss francs. Sales performance in both the Pharmaceuticals and the Diagnostics Division reflects the strength of the Group’s business, as well as the impact of the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc against all currencies relevant for Roche.

Seven positive registration studies

In the first nine months of 2011 Roche reported positive data from seven clinical studies, several of which have already formed the basis for regulatory filings and approvals in the third quarter (see page 10 for details on the R&D pipeline and regulatory milestones):

  • Zelboraf for metastatic melanoma and companion diagnostic cobas BRAF Mutation Test approved and launched in the US (approval based on BRIM2 and BRIM3 studies)
  • Tarceva approved in the EU for EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer(based on EURTAC study)
  • vismodegib filed in the US for treatment of basal cell carcinoma (supported by ERIVANCE study).
  • primary objective achieved in phase III registration study with pertuzumab for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (CLEOPATRA)

Growth in sales of key medicines led by Latin America and Asia–Pacific

Sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division, excluding Tamiflu, grew 1% in the first nine months of 2011. Including Tamiflu, sales declined by 1% at constant exchange rates (-14% in Swiss francs; +4% in US dollars) to 24.4 billion Swiss francs. Sales reflected solid growth of most key medicines, including recently launched products. Negative impacts included expected decreases in sales of Avastin (due to uncertainty around the metastatic breast cancer indication in the US), Tamiflu, Bonviva/Boniva and CellCept, and sustained competitive pressure on the NeoRecormon/Epogin franchise.

In the regions, growth of 1% in US pharmaceutical sales was driven mainly by demand for Lucentis, Rituxan and Actemra. Sales in Western Europe decreased by 4%, primarily due to government austerity measures. Excluding Tamiflu, sales in the International region grew 6%, helped by increasing demand for key products in certain Latin American and Asia–Pacific countries, notably China (+28%), Venezuela (+88%) and Brazil (+16%). A decrease of 2% in sales in Japan, excluding Tamiflu, was due primarily to ongoing effects following the disastrous earthquake in March.

Diagnostics business continues to outpace the market

Diagnostics Division sales continued to grow faster than the global in vitro diagnostics market, advancing 6% at constant exchange rates (-8% in Swiss francs, +11% in US dollars). Growth was led by Professional Diagnostics (+9%), fuelled by continued strong growth in immunoassays and solid instrument placements, and by Tissue Diagnostics (+15%). Sales grew in all regions, with the largest gains in Asia–Pacific (+17%). These reflect the strong overall demand for immunoassays and in particular the division’s performance in China, where sales increased 25%. In the third quarter Roche Diagnostics launched 17 new products in key markets (see table on page 11).

Roche Group again recognised as global sustainability leader in healthcare

In September Roche was named Supersector Leader in Healthcare in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) for the third year in a row. This top ranking among the world’s leading sustainability-driven healthcare companies is a reflection of Roche’s commitment to its employees, communities and the environment, and positions Roche as a global leader in sustainable business practices.

Full-year outlook confirmed

Roche confirms its full-year outlook for 2011 on the basis of the positive nine-month sales performance. Barring unforeseen events, Group and Pharmaceuticals sales (excluding Tamiflu) are expected to grow at low single-digit rates at constant exchange rates, reflecting the impact of US healthcare reforms and European austerity measures. Pharmaceuticals sales are thus expected to grow in line with the market. In 2011 Diagnostics sales are again expected to grow significantly ahead of the market, driven by further rollouts of new products in all business areas. Thanks to ongoing cost savings and productivity gains, Roche is targeting Core EPS growth of around 10% at constant exchange rates for 2011, in spite of a more challenging environment and the introduction of an excise tax in the United States. Roche aims to grow the dividend in line with Core EPS growth, and will at least maintain last year’s dividend in Swiss francs.

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About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D (core basis). The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com

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1) Constant exchange rates.
2) The percentage changes at constant exchange rates (CER) are calculated using simulations by reconsolidating both the 2011 and 2010 results at constant currencies (the average rates for the year ended 31 December 2010). This is the same concept that Roche previously labelled ‘local currencies’.

Disclaimer: Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
This document contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as ‘believes’, ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘projects’, ‘intends’, ‘should’, ‘seeks’, ‘estimates’, ‘future’ or similar expressions or by discussion of, among other things, strategy, goals, plans or intentions. Various factors may cause actual results to differ materially in the future from those reflected in forward-looking statements contained in this document, among others: (1) pricing and product initiatives of competitors; (2) legislative and regulatory developments and economic conditions; (3) delay or inability in obtaining regulatory approvals or bringing products to market; (4) fluctuations in currency exchange rates and general financial market conditions; (5) uncertainties in the discovery, development or marketing of new products or new uses of existing products, including without limitation negative results of clinical trials or research projects, unexpected side-effects of pipeline or marketed products; (6) increased government pricing pressures; (7) interruptions in production; (8) loss of or inability to obtain adequate protection for intellectual property rights; (9) litigation; (10) loss of key executives or other employees; and (11) adverse publicity and news coverage. The statement regarding earnings per share growth is not a profit forecast and should not be interpreted to mean that Roche’s earnings or earnings per share for any current or future period will necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings or earnings per share of Roche.