Shares in Celgene were on the rise yesterday after the company lifted its sales and earnings forecast for the full year on smashing expectations with record results for the third quarter.

The Boston, USA-based group posted (on a GAAP basis) a 30% rise in net income to $281 million for the period, with earnings per share (EPS) up at $0.60, after total revenues climbed 31% to hit $910 million.

Sales growth was driven by the firm’s multiple myeloma drug Revlimid (lenalidomide), which beat forecasts by generating $641 million, marking growth of 43% compared to the year-ago quarter.

Turnover of Vidaza (azacitidine), which is approved for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukaemia, jumped 37% to $141 million and thus also helped swell results.

On the down side, sales of Thalomid (inclusive of Thalidomide Celgene and Thalidomide Pharmion), which is used to treat newly diagnosed multiple myeloma as well cutaneous manifestations of moderate-to-severe erythema nodosum leprosum, an inflammatory complication of leprosy, slid 14% to $94 million.

But Celgene’s impressive performance overall prompted an increase in its outlook for the full year. The firm, which recently completed its purchase of Abraxis BioScience, said it is now on track for sales growth of 34% to $3.6 billion instead of 3.40-$3.45 billion, and EPS growth of around 34% to $2.78-$2.80, compared with the earlier forecast of $2.65-$2.70.

“Our third quarter results reflect outstanding operational execution by our global team," noted the firm’s chief executive Bob Hugin, adding: "Our expanding portfolio of innovative therapies in oncology and immune-inflammatory diseases further positions us for sustained growth and value creation in the near and long term."

Shareholders were seemingly also pleased with the Celgene’s performance, as the group’s Nasdaq-traded stock rose over 3% to close at $61.20 following the results announcement.