By Helena Smolak

Roche first-quarter sales declined amid weak demand for Covid-19 products and currency headwinds but slightly beat analysts expectations.

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant said Wednesday that sales dropped to 14.39 billion Swiss francs ($15.79 billion) for the first quarter, from CHF15.32 billion in the same quarter a year prior. Analysts had estimated sales at CHF14.35 billion, according to a Visible Alpha compiled consensus.

Sales in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics divisions both fell 6% to CHF75.8 billion and CHF24.2 billion, respectively, the company said.

Sales related to Covid-19 tests dropped to CHF100 million in the first quarter, down from CHF300 million a year before, as booming demand for Covid-19 medicine Ronapreve and tests waned.

Roche said this quarter was the last to be hit by pandemic-related sales decline. Foreign-exchange rates also hurt sales, and Roche said its revenue growth on-year was 2%, when measured at constant currency.

Roche backed its full-year guidance and expects to further increase its dividend.

Write to Helena Smolak at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-24-24 0149ET