Swiss drug firm Roche says earnings declined this year

Roche's head office in Basel
Image caption Roche is cutting much of its global workforce

Swiss drugmaker Roche has said earnings fell 5% in the first six months of the years.

Profits were 5.26bn Swiss francs ($5.78bn, £4bn), down from 5.57bn Swiss francs during the same period last year.

But Roche forecast that earnings would rise by 10% this year.

The company is embarking on a cost-savings exercise, cutting 4,800 jobs over two years in order to save 2.4bn Swiss francs.

Roche shares were previously hit by a US Food and Drug Administration panel ruling that its doctors should stop using its best-selling cancer drug Avastin in breast cancer patients.

A final verdict by the FDA on the drug's use is expected next week.

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