AstraZeneca has this morning posted a strong set of financials for the second quarter, boosted by strong sales of the cholesterol-lowerer Crestor, the blood pressure drug Toprol XL and its new influenza A (H1N1) vaccine.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has posted a 10% rise in sales (at constant exchange rates) to $8.20 billion, while operating profit was up 25% to $3.20 billion. Turnover from Crestor (rosuvastatin) increased 30% to $1.15 billion and in the USA, total prescriptions increased 25%, compared with 6% for the statin market overall.

Also impressive were sales for Toprol XL/Seloken (metoprolol), up 110% to $414 million, and up 307% to $293 million (including sales of an authorised generic) in the USA. The rise was due to the withdrawal of copycat products from the market across the pond.

As for AstraZeneca’s other products, revenues for the antiulcerant blockbuster Nexium (esomeprazole) were down 1% to $1.24 billion, while the asthma combo Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol) increased 22% to $526 million. Sales of the antipsychotic Seroquel (quetiapine) rose 12% to $1.23 billion.

Turnover of the breast cancer drug Arimidex (anastrozole) were up 2% to $476 million, while generic competition to Casodex (bicalutamide) saw the drug fall 43% to $174 million.

The figures were boosted by $152 million in sales of AstraZeneca’s swine flu vaccine. The US government has placed orders for approximately 40 million doses of LAIV with a total cumulative contract value of $453 million and the balance should be realised in the fourth quarter.

Chief executive David Brennan said that “our strong business performance is driven by good operating execution” and has led to the firm upping its full-year core earnings per share guidance to $6.20-$6.40 from $5.70-$6.00.

At 11.15 (UK time), quarter of an hour after the figures were released, AstraZeneca’s shares were up 0.5% to £28.01.