Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has posted a strong set of financials for the first quarter, boosted by sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, and the contribution of recently-acquired Cephalon.

Net income excluding items rose 39% to $1.30 billion, while sales increased 25% to $5.10 billion. Turnover soared 46% in the USA to $2.75 billion, helped by the inclusion of Cephalon sales - globally, the sleep disorder drug Provigil (modanafil) and its long-acting follow-up long-acting drug Nuvigil (armodafinil) brought in $291 million and $84 million, respectively, while sales of the cancer drug Treanda (bendamustine) reached $148 million.

The US business also benefited from the exclusive launch of a generic of Eli Lilly's blockbuster antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) and an agreement with Ranbaxy relating to the commercialisation of a copycat version of Pfizer's cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor (atorvastatin).

However in Europe, revenues slipped 2% to $1.32 billion, representing a decline in generic sales "due to the ongoing macro-economic conditions and healthcare reforms in key European markets". Turnover in the rest of the world climbed 21% to $1.03 billion, boosted by the inclusion of Cephalon and Taiyo in Japan.

The Israeli company’s branded business was again dominated by Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). The treatment brought in $909 million, an increase of 8%, while sales of Azilect (rasagiline) for Parkinson’s disease reached $72 million, up 9%.

Global respiratory revenues were up 4% at $190 million, while Teva's women's health business had turnover of $108 million, a rise of 2%. Over-the-counter revenues were up 7% to $196 million.

Chief executive Shlomo Yanai, who is stepping down to be succeeded by Jeremy Levin, poached from Bristol-Myers Squibb, said that "after five extremely rewarding years" in the post, "together we turned Teva into a highly diversified global pharmaceutical company, with an expanded geographical footprint and additional lines of business". He added that "I am very confident that Jeremy will lead Teva to even new heights".