Amgen saw adjusted net income rise just 2% in the second quarter of the year to $1.3 billion as sales were hiked 3% to $3.7 billion. In real terms, the US biotechnology giant saw rise to $1.02 billion versus $14 million in the second quarter of 2006, when the company took a $1.1 billion charge for its acquisition of Abgenix.

"This has been a difficult period and this quarter's low growth is a reflection of that reality," said Kevin Sharer, chairman & CEO. "That said, we are making progress on many fronts to change this trend and return Amgen to strong future performance."

During the second quarter, total product sales increased 3% to $3.6 billion as US sales suffered from growth of just 1% but were tempered by international sales increasing 15% to $725 million, though foreign exchange positively impacted these results by $41 million (6%).

The thorn in Amgen's side this year has been its anaemia drug Aranesp (darbopoietin alfa), which slumped 10% to $949 million as the effect of label changes, concerns over the safety of the erythropoietin stimulating agents and changes in reimbursement started to take shape. In the USA alone, revenues from this big-selling product tumbled 19% to $578 million, but grew 8% internationally. Despite the concerns over the ESAs, Epogen (epoetin alfa) rose 2% to $624 million, offset by a growing patient population and positive wholesaler stocking.

However, other top products did put in a good performance, with Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) and Neupogen (filgrastim) up 4% to $624 million - again the best performance came internationally, while the USA has slipped back - and its arthritis drug Enbrel (etanercept) stole the show once again, up 14% to $823 million.

The firm had hoped to meet its full-year earnings per share expectations of $4.30. However, the recent acquisitions of Alantos and Ilypsa are expected to reduce adjusted EPS by 2 cents, to $4.28. Amgen is also planning cost-efficiency measures, and will rationalise its manufacturing facilities by re-scoping its Ireland operations, revising planned manufacturing expansion in Puerto Rico and moderating expansion of research facilities.