Roche has posted a strong set of financials for 2013 bolstered by continued growth of its cancer drugs.__

The Basel-based major says sales reached 46.78 billion francs, up 3%, while net income leapt 18% to 11.37 billion francs. Pharmaceutical revenues rose 3% to 36.30 billion francs, and the top-selling drug was MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab), approved for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia as well as rheumatoid arthritis. It contributed 6.95 billion francs, an increase of 6% at constant exchange rates.

Sales of Herceptin (trastuzumab) for HER2-positive breast cancer rose 6% to 6.08 billion francs, while Avastin (bevacizumab) had sales of 6.25 billion francs (+13%). The chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) was up 2% to 1.50 billion francs, while sales of Tarceva (erlotinib), for advanced lung and pancreatic cancer, increased 4% to 1.34 billion francs.

As for Roche’s other products, Lucentis (ranibizumab) for wet age-related macular degeneration leapt 15% to 1.70 billion francs, while RoActemra/Actemra (tocilizumab) for rheumatoid arthritis, rocketed 30% to 1.04 billion francs.__Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), for hepatitis B and C, fell 19% to 1.31 billion francs. while the transplantation product CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) slipped 2% to 874 million francs.

As for newer products, Roche  noted that the melanoma drug Zelboraf (vemurafenib) brought in 354 million francs, up 52 %. The two breast cancer treatments - Kadcyla (trastuzumab/emtansine) and Perjeta (pertuzumab) had sales of 234 million francs and 326 million francs (+498%) respectively.

Chief executive Severin Schwan said that “2013 was a very good year for Roche. We exceeded our financial targets with strong demand for our existing products and positive uptake of recently-launched medicines and diagnostics".