Bristol-Myers Squibb’s third-quarter financials have revealed continued strong sales of the bloodthinner Plavix and the antipsychotic Abilify and the firm has raised its full-year earnings forecast.

Net income came in at $966 million, compared with $2.58 billion in the like, year-earlier period, though that figure including a gain of $1.99 billion from the sale of its Convatec wound-healing business. However, earnings from continuing operations climbed 64%.

Group sales increased 4% (or 7% excluding the impact of foreign exchange) to $5.49 billion. Biopharmaceutical turnover was up 6% to $4.80 billion, driven by Plavix (clopidogrel), up 8% to $1.55 billion, while sales of Abilify (aripiprazole) climbed 16% to $653 million.

As for the firm's HIV drugs, sales of the Sustiva (efavirenz) franchise rose 7% to $315 million, and Reyataz (atazanavir) was up 5% to $360 million. Revenues from Baraclude (entecavir) for hepatitis B climbed 33% to $191 million.

As for B-MS’ newer drugs, Sprycel (dasatanib) for leukaemia rose 30% to $107 million, while Orencia (abatacept) for rheumatoid arthritis increased 36% to $162 million. Onglyza (saxagliptin), a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes which was recently approved in the USA, contributed $20 million and on the negative side, the cancer agent Erbitux (cetuximab) fell 3% to $179 million.

Chief executive James Cornelius said the performance in the third quarter “clearly shows the results of our outstanding business performance, disciplined financial management and overall strategic execution”. He added that B-MS has rapidly integrated Medarex, acquired formally in September, into its R&D organisation and that purchase will propel the firm “toward becoming a leader in immuno-oncology.”

B-MS has raised its earnings forecast for the full year to $1.72-$1.77 per share from $1.58-$1.68.