Roche says that sales in 2014 inched up 1% to 47.46 billion francs, while net profit fell 16% to 9.54 billion francs, hurt by a one-time restructuring charge and lower than analyst forecasts.

Roche’s top-selling drug was MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab), approved for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia as well as rheumatoid arthritis; it edged up 2% (at constant exchange rates) to 6.90 billion francs. Herceptin (trastuzumab) for HER2-positive breast cancer rose 7% to 6.28 billion francs, while Roche’s two newer breast cancer treatments - Kadcyla (trastuzumab/emtansine) and Perjeta (pertuzumab) had sales of 536 million francs (+135%) and 918 million francs (+189%) respectively.

Avastin (bevacizumab) had sales of 6.42 billion francs (+6%), although the chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) sank 46% to 776 million francs, hit by generic competition. The melanoma drug Zelboraf (vemurafenib) brought in 301 million francs, down 12%, while Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) for hepatitis B and C fell 20% to 1.02 billion francs, hit by competition from new hepatitis C treatments.

Tarceva (erlotinib), for advanced lung and pancreatic cancer, slipped 1% to 1.30 billion francs, while Lucentis (ranibizumab) for wet age-related macular degeneration rose 2% to 1.70 billion francs. RoActemra/Actemra (tocilizumab) for rheumatoid arthritis, rocketed 23% to 1.22 billion francs.

Chief executive Severin Schwan (pictured) said the firm made good progress in 2014 and “we have now made ten targeted acquisitions to complement our existing portfolio in pharma and diagnostics”. He noted that initial demand for Esbriet (pirfenidone) for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, acquired through Roche’s purchase of InterMune, in the USA where it was recently launched is strong.

For 2015, excluding currency impacts, Roche expects sales to grow sales to grow in the low-to-mid single digit range, while core earnings per share should grow higher than sales.