Roche has posted a healthy set of financials for the first six months of  2012, despite taking hefty restructuring charges.

The Basel-based major says sales reached 22.42 billion francs, up 4% at constant exchange rates, while core operating profit increased 7% to 8.64 billion francs. However net income was down 14% to 4.37 billion francs.

This is the result of Roche restructuring its pharma research and early development organisation and closing the site in Nutley, New Jersey, with the loss of 1,000 jobs. The company reported one-off closure costs of 858 million francs (of which 446 million francs is cash relevant), plus 289 million francs related to its applied science and diabetes business.

Roche also reported further costs of 530 million francs as a result of other global restructuring plans, including the termination in May of clinical trials of the cholesterol drug dalcetrapib.

Back to the drugs and pharmaceutical revenues rose 4% to 17.40 billion francs. The firm’s top-selling drug was Herceptin (trastuzumab) for HER2-positive breast cancer which rose 11% to 2.95 billion francs, while Avastin (bevacizumab) had sales of 2.80 billion francs (+3%).

MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab), approved for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia as well as rheumatoid arthritis contributed 2.78 billion francs in the oncology setting, an increase of 9%, while the chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) grew 14% to 763 million francs. Sales of Tarceva (erlotinib), for advanced lung and pancreatic cancer, increased 8% to 666 million francs.

As for Roche’s other products, Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), for hepatitis B and C, climbed 31% to 903 million francs. Sales of the antiflu drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir) fell 18% to 221 million francs, while the transplantation product CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) fell 15% to 454 million francs.

Combined sales of Roche’s NeoRecormon and its Chugai unit’s Epogin (epoetin beta), for anaemia, declined 16% to 95 million francs. The osteoporosis drug Boniva/Bonviva (ibandronic acid) sank 46% to 207 million francs.

Lucentis (ranibizumab) for wet age-related macular degeneration fell 5% to 745 million francs, while RoActemra/Actemra (tocilizumab) for rheumatoid arthritis, rocketed 39% to 385 million francs.

Chief executive Severin Schwan (pictured) said Roche had put in a solid performance and was pleased with the launches of "innovative cancer medicines", namely the skin cancer drugs Zelboraf (vemurafenib) and Erivedge (vismodegib), plus the new HER2 breast cancer drug Perjeta (pertuzumab). He noted that "over the last six months we made good progress in developing our product pipeline, and we now have 72 new molecular entities in clinical development".