Media Release

Dubai, 31.07.2018

Roche reports very strong performance in the first half of 2018

  •  Group sales increase 7%1 at constant exchange rates and in Swiss francs
  •  Pharmaceuticals Division sales up 7%, driven mainly by Ocrevus, Perjeta, Alecensa and Tecentriq
  •  Diagnostics Division sales grow 6%, primarily due to demand for immunodiagnostic solutions
  •  Approvals in the second quarter: European Commission approves Perjeta for adjuvant treatment of HER2-positive early breast cancer at high risk of recurrence; FDA approves new indications for existing medicines: subcutaneous formulation of Actemra/RoActemra for a form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis; MabThera/Rituxan for pemphigus vulgaris; Avastin for a form of ovarian cancer
  •  Outlook raised for 2018: Roche expects mid-single digit sales growth, at constant exchange rates.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 31 July 2018 Commenting on the Group’s results, Roche CEO Severin Schwan said: “In the first half of the year, both our Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics Divisions achieved very strong results. Given the very good, continuously growing uptake of our new medicines, we are well on track to rejuvenate our portfolio. The growth of our business will continue, also beyond the current year. Based on the performance in the first half of the year, we are increasing the outlook for the full-year 2018 to mid-single digit sales growth and targeting core earnings per share to grow in the mid-teen digits, at constant exchange rates.”

Group results

Both divisions recorded very strong performance. In the first half of 2018, Group sales rose 7% to CHF 28.1 billion and core EPS grew 19%, while Pharmaceuticals Division sales increased 7% to CHF 21.8 billion, with key growth drivers were the recently launched medicines Ocrevus, used to treat two forms of multiple sclerosis, and cancer medicines Perjeta, Alecensa and Tecentriq. Tamiflu contributed with high sales at the beginning of the year due to a severe flu season. As expected, the strong growth reported for the Pharmaceuticals Division was partially offset by lower sales of MabThera/Rituxan and of Tarceva.

Diagnostics Division sales increased 6% to CHF 6.3 billion. Centralised and Point of Care Solutions (+6%) was the main contributor, led by the growth of its immunodiagnostics business (+9%). Sales increased in all business areas, with regional growth driven by Asia-Pacific (+14%) and North America (+7%). Sales increased 1% in EMEA2 and 6% in Latin America.

Core operating profit increased 11% in the Pharmaceuticals Division while it remained stable in the Diagnostics Division.

Milestones for Roche medicines

In the second quarter, health authorities granted several approvals for Roche medicines. The European Commission approved Perjeta in combination with Herceptin and chemotherapy for post-surgery (adjuvant) treatment of adult patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer (eBC) at high risk of recurrence. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the subcutaneous formulation of Actemra for the treatment of active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in patients two years of age and older. MabThera/Rituxan received FDA approval for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe pemphigus vulgaris - this is the first biologic therapy approved by the FDA for pemphigus vulgaris and the first major advancement in the treatment of the disease in more than 60 years.

Advancing personalised healthcare

Roche and Foundation Medicine (FMI), Inc., US, have entered into a definitive merger agreement. A tender offer was launched on 2 July 2018 and the closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the second half of 2018, subject to a majority of FMI’s outstanding shares not already held by the Group being tendered and other customary conditions. This transaction broadens Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy and aims to further advance molecular insights and the broad availability of high-quality comprehensive genomic profiling, both key enablers for the development of new cancer treatments and optimal patient care.

New tools for Alzheimer’s diagnosis and diabetes management

The FDA granted Breakthrough Device Designation to Roche’s Elecsys ß-Amyloid (1-42) CSF and Elecsys Phospho-Tau (181P) CSF assays. These in vitro diagnostic immunoassays are for the measurement of the ß-Amyloid (1-42) and Phospho-Tau concentrations in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in adult subjects with mild cognitive impairment being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other causes of dementia. Roche was one of the first companies to use biomarkers in clinical trials and will continue to explore high-performing diagnostic and disease-monitoring solutions for AD.

Roche’s new small, tube-free Accu-Chek Solo micropump obtained the CE mark. The micropump offers people with diabetes the option of dosing insulin either directly from the pump or from the dedicated handheld, as well as enabling them to detach and re-attach the pump without wasting insulin. It also complements Roche’s digital health solutions contributing to a more effective and personalised diabetes management.

Outlook increased again for 2018

Roche expects sales to grow mid-single digit, at constant exchange rates. Core earnings per share are targeted to grow in the mid-teen digits, at constant exchange rates. Excluding the US tax reform impact, core earnings per share are targeted to grow broadly in line with sales. Roche expects to further increase its dividend in Swiss francs.


About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. Thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry nine years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2017 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2017, Roche invested CHF 10.4 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 53.3 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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1Unless otherwise stated, all growth rates in this document are at constant exchange rates (CER: average 2017).

2EMEA = Europe, Middle East and Africa