Swiss biotech group Roche sees 5 pct rise in 9-month sales

Swiss biotech company Roche says sales grew 5 percent in the first nine months of the year, crediting new product launches and citing double-digit growth in the pharmaceuticals division in the U.S. market.

The Basel-based drugs and diagnostics group expressed confidence about meeting full-year targets and pointed to recent regulatory approvals in the European Union.

Overall, sales rose to 39.4 billion Swiss francs ($40.2 billion) in the period, from 37.5 billion a year earlier. The U.S. represented a growing share, now at 39 percent of total sales.

Roche cited combined 6 percent growth for Herceptin, Perjeta and Kadcyla treatments for some types of breast and gastric cancers, and reported 13 percent growth for rheumatoid arthritis treatment Actemra.

MabThera/Rituxan for blood cancer and autoimmune diseases saw sales climb 6 percent.