(Alliance News) - AstraZeneca PLC on Thursday hailed the potential of its drugs pipeline as it delivered impressive growth in sales and profit in the first quarter.

Shares in AstraZeneca rose 5.2% to 11,942.00 pence in London on Thursday. The wider FTSE 100 was up 0.7%.

The Cambridge, UK-based pharmaceuticals manufacturer reported pretax profit jumped 24% in the first three months of 2024 to USD2.80 billion from USD2.26 billion a year prior. Earnings per share climbed 21% to USD1.41 from USD1.16.

Revenue rose 17% to USD12.68 billion from USD10.88 billion a year earlier.

AstraZeneca highlighted double-digit revenue growth from Oncology at 26% to USD5.11 billion, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism at 23% to USD3.06 billion, Respiratory and Immunology at 17% to USD1.89 billion, and Rare Disease at 16% to USD2.10 billion.

In Oncology, the company reported strong performance across all key medicines and regions. Sales of lung cancer treatments Tagrisso rose 13% to USD1.60 billion, and Imfinzi by 9% to USD1.11 billion.

Combined sales of cancer treatment Enhertu, recorded by Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, and AstraZeneca, amounted to USD879 million, up from USD531 million last year, it said.

In CVRM, sales of the type 2 diabetes treatment Farxiga increased by 43% to USD1.89 billion.

In Rare Diseases, Ultomiris sales rose 7% to USD859 million.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said: "Our strong pipeline momentum continued and already this year we announced positive trial results for Imfinzi and Tagrisso that were unprecedented in lung cancer, the data from both of these studies will be presented during the ASCO plenary in June. We are also looking forward to seeing the results of several other important trials throughout the year."

AstraZeneca reiterated its revenue and core EPS guidance for 2024.

It expects collaboration revenue to increase substantially, driven by success-based milestones and certain anticipated transactions.

Other operating income is expected to decrease substantially as 2023 included two sizeable one-off gains.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

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