The largest Swiss-based biotech company posted total sales of 11.6 billion Swiss francs (7.6 bln euros) in first quarter 2009, up 8% from prior year period, the company announced.
The local branch of Swiss Hoffman la Roche booked total sales up 15% from first quarter 2008. In spite of the advance the company ended first quarter on the red, as Dan Zamonea, Roche Romania’s managing director told Wall-Street.

“Sales in both divisions continued to grow significantly faster than their respective markets. We are therefore confident that we can achieve our full-year targets”, said Roche CEO Severin Schwan.

The sales of both the pharmaceutical and diagnostics divisions advanced by 8% in local currency. While the sales of diagnostics division totaled 2.4 bln Swiss francs (1.6 bln euros), the pharmaceutical division touched 9.2 bln Swiss francs (6 bln euros) sales.

Recently, the Swiss group completed the transaction to take full ownership of US biotech company Genentech, paying 46.8 million US dollars (35.3 bln euros).

In the local market, the branch of the Swiss pharmaceutical and diagnostics company marked a 15% growth in sales from prior year period. In spite of the advance the company ended first quarter on loss.

“The first two months were an extension of last year’s performance, the devaluation of the local currency being the main challenge we met. Starting with March, when the exchange rate was updated, things started to follow a more normal path, and overall the losses stood at 20% below last year”, Dan Zamonea told Wall-Street.

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