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AstraZeneca targets doubling revenue to 80 billion dollars by end of decade

AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soriot announced the new target this week (Chris Ratcliffe/PA)
AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soriot announced the new target this week (Chris Ratcliffe/PA)

AstraZeneca has announced plans to nearly double its revenue to 80 billion dollars (£62.8 billion) by 2030, ahead of a landmark investor meeting for the pharmaceutical giant.

The FTSE 100 company will launch 20 new medicines over the coming years in areas like cancer care and rare diseases as part of a “new era of growth”.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said many of the new products have potential to generate more than five billion dollars a year and “transform millions of lives”.

Staff work inside the AstraZeneca Laboratory in Macclesfield
Staff work inside the AstraZeneca laboratory in Macclesfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

The medicines, combined with its existing portfolio, will help Astrazeneca hit the 80 billion dollar turnover target from 45.8 billion dollars last year, he said.

He added: “The breadth of our portfolio together with continued investment in innovation supports sustained growth well past the end of the decade.”

It comes just under a decade after AstraZeneca announced a 45 billion dollar annual target to help resist a takeover attempt by rival Pfizer.

In that time, AstraZeneca has become a household name for its part in developing Covid-19 vaccines.

It created one of the first shots against the disease in partnership with the University of Oxford.

The drug, called Vaxzevria, will be withdrawn from the market, it announced recently, amid falling demand and the development of new vaccines designed to fight specific Covid-19 variants.

Pascal Soriot speaks during the Climate Innovation Forum at the Guildhall in London
Pascal Soriot speaks during the Climate Innovation Forum at the Guildhall in London (Justin Tallis/PA)

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, added: “Developing new medicines is not an easy task as the success rate is unpredictable.

“Even when something is approved for commercial sale, there is always the risk of copycat products once patents expire.”

AstraZeneca faces the issue of patent expiries on several key drugs which treat diabetes, heart failure and kidney disease, which has kept share price growth muted in recent times.

Shares in the drugs giant rose 1.2% on Tuesday morning. Peter Welford, an analyst at Jefferies, wrote that the target was “expected” with 20 new drug launches “anticipated”.

The 80 billion dollar target is also likely designed to assuage shareholder concerns about Mr Soriot’s annual pay.

Mr Soriot suffered a rebellion against a £18.7 million pay deal at AstraZeneca’s annual meeting in April, with 35.5% of shareholders rejecting the pay rise.

However, the pay package received enough support to get the green light, bringing Mr Soriot’s annual pay over the last decade to £120 million.

Separately, AstraZeneca announced on Monday that it would open a 1.5 billion dollar plant producing new antibody-drug conjugates designed to treat types of cancer.

The medicine is a type of chemotherapy which kills cancer cells without harming surrounding healthy tissue.

The product is expected to be an important part of its path to hitting the 80 billion dollar target.