Teva has raised its annual earnings guidance as it reported a smaller-than-expected drop in profits for Q2, a good sign for the company's ongoing restructuring programme.

Earnings-per-share fell to 78 cents, better than estimates of 64 cents. Overall revenues were at $4.7 billion, down 18% from the prior year period but in line with estimates. The company reported a loss of $241 million in Q2.

Teva said that it continues to expect full-year sales of between $18.5 billion and $19 billion, with earnings per share raised from a estimates of $2.40-$2.65 to a forecast of $2.55-$2.80.

The heavily-indebted company has faced a three-year slump, partly due to the loss of exclusivity on multiple sclerorisis blockubuster Copaxone, which at one point generated half of Teva’s profits.

Declining Copaxone revenues were part of the reason that North American sales fell 29% to $2.3 billion for the second quarter, but CEO Kare Schultz noted that the drug retained its market share thanks to aggressive price cuts.

Sales in international markets were down 11% to $789 million, which the company said was primarily due to lower sales in Japan and Russia. Sales in Europe rose 3% to $1.3 billion