Swiss drug maker Roche posts flat third-quarter sales amid strong franc

Markets Associated Press

Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG has reported "stable" or flat sales for the first nine months of 2013 but says the results show strong demand for its cancer drugs and emerging new products.

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The Basel, Switzerland-based company says group sales were 34.8 billion Swiss francs, nearly unchanged from 34.9 billion francs in the same time period last year. But when measured in constant exchange rates, sales rose 5 percent over the first three quarters of the year.

It notes that a number of currencies, notably the U.S. dollar, remained weaker against the Swiss franc throughout the year.

The world's biggest producer of cancer-fighting drugs said Thursday that sales of cancer medicines Herceptin, Perjeta and Kadcyla together increased 21 percent, while its sales of rheumatoid arthritis treatment Actemra/RoActemra rose 24 percent.