AstraZeneca posts soaring profits on asset sale

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Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca on Thursday said net profits soared 124 percent to $3.48 billion (2.48 billion euros) in the third quarter after the group sold its dental division.

The result for the three months to September 30 compared with earnings after tax of $1.55 billion in the third quarter of 2010.

AstraZeneca had in June announced the sale of its Astra Tech unit to US dental implant manufacturer Dentsply International for $1.8 billion.

The cash deal supports the London-listed drugmaker's strategy of focusing on medicine development and increasing returns for shareholders.

© 2011 AFP

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