Anglo-Swedish drug giant AstraZeneca has posted a 23% rise in core profit to $13.6 billion for 2009 giving core earnings per share of $6.32.

Results were driven by a respectable increase in sales of 7% to $32.8 billion at constant exchange rates, with revenues of the blood pressure drug Toprol-XL and Novel Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine in the US accounting for three percentage points of the global revenue growth (at CER).

According to David Brennan, AZ’s chief executive, the company delivered a strong financial performance for 2009, “exceeding the targets we set at the beginning of the year”, and has also made “good progress” on the pipeline, with five products currently awaiting regulatory approval and four new late-stage development projects gathered through the firm’s “externalisation efforts”.

See tomorrow’s PharmaTimes World News elert for a full analysis of AstraZeneca’s results.