March 6, 2015 / 8:04 AM / in 3 years

AstraZeneca keeps 2015 outlook after financial reporting change

A sign is seen at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, central England April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - Drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN.L) said on Friday it would change the way it reported results with effect from the first quarter of 2015 to make revenue from so-called externalization deals more visible to investors.

The move means the company will now focus on total revenue rather than sales revenue in its financial outlook, though both measures are expected to decline by the same rate this year.

Consistent with its previous sales outlook, AstraZeneca expects total 2015 revenue to fall by a mid single-digit percent at constant exchange rates. Adjusted or “core” earnings per share are still seen increasing by a low single-digit percent.

The company is aiming to do more externalization deals, involving the sale of non-core drugs, both to increase its focus and generate additional income to see it through a tough period of patient expiries on older drugs.

Historically, revenue from such deals formed part of “other operating income” presented below cost of goods sold (COGS). In future, it will contribute to total revenue, which is shown above COGS.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by David Clarke

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