(Alliance News) - AstraZeneca PLC said it intends to raise its annualised dividend for 2024, citing confidence in its business performance and cash generation.

The Cambridge, England-based pharmaceutical company said the increase will be by 20 US cents to USD3.10 per share.

For 2023, AstraZeneca had paid a total dividend of USD2.90, which was unchanged from 2022, despite skyrocketing profit on the back of lower sales costs.

Chair Michel Demare said: "This uplift is in line with our progressive dividend policy, which remains unchanged, and reflects the continuing strength of AstraZeneca's investment proposition for shareholders."

In February, Astra had reported a surge in pretax profit for 2023 to USD6.90 billion from USD2.50 billion in 2022. Revenue edged up 3.3% to USD45.81 billion from USD44.35 billion, though Astra had noted a 21% jump in total revenue from oncology.

Notably, cost of sales were cut by 33% to USD8.27 billion from USD12.39 billion.

AstraZeneca shares were 1.2% higher at 10,858.00 pence each on Thursday morning in London.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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