Rising demand in the USA for its major products helped AstraZeneca to a 30% hike in second-quarter operating profit to $2.13 billion, ahead of expectations, on sales up 10% to $6.63 billion.

The combined sales of AstraZeneca’s five key growth products – gastrointestinal drug Nexium (esomeprazole), Seroquel (quetiapine) for schizophrenia, cholesterol-lowerer Crestor (rosuvastatin), Arimidex (anastrozole for breast cancer and combination asthma product Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol) - grew 21% in the second quarter to $3.3 billion.

Second-quarter earnings per share were up 41% to $1.02, and AstraZeneca said it now expected full-year EPS to be in the upper half of its previous forecast range of $3.60-$3.90.

David Brennan, AstraZeneca’s chief executive, said: “The strong second quarter earnings performance reflects our continued delivery of good sales growth and margin expansion.”

He added that the prospects for the company’s portfolio have been strengthened by the US approval of Symbicort, as well as the filing for an extended-release formulation of Seroquel SR in the USA.

Additional details from AstraZeneca’s results will be published tomorrow morning.