The company’s earnings come as the company remains in the spotlight for its coronavirus vaccine, which is being heavily relied upon by the U.K., EU and others as they try to bring an end to the public health crisis caused by the pandemic. AstraZeneca has said it will provide access to its vaccine at no profit for the “duration of the pandemic,” although the timing on this is uncertain. It has also committed to provide the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis in perpetuity to low- and middle-income countries. As such, its current earnings did not include sales of the vaccine.
Year-ahead guidance from the company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, stated that it expected revenue growth of a “low teens percentage” in 2021, and faster growth in core earnings per share to $4.75 to $5.00. The guidance does not incorporate any revenue or profit impact from sales of the Covid-19 vaccine, it said, and the company intends to report these sales separately from the next quarter. In the results report, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said the performance last year “marked a significant step forward for AstraZeneca. Despite the significant impact from the pandemic, we delivered double-digit revenue growth.”