U.S. Markets closed

Roche posts 41 percent rise first-half net income

GENEVA (AP) -- Strong sales helped Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG to a 41 percent rise in first-half net income for shareholders from a year ago.

The world's biggest manufacturer of cancer drugs, which reports earnings every six months, posted 5.941 billion Swiss francs ($6.34 billion) in net income, up from 4.199 billion francs in the comparable period of 2012.

The Basel, Switzerland-based company said Thursday its top drugs, Avastin, Rituxan and Herceptin, and new breast cancer treatments Perjeta and Kadcyla contributed to strong first-half sales of 23.295 billion francs ($24.84 billion), up 5 percent from 22.423 billion francs in the first half of 2012.

Chief Executive Severin Schwan said Roche was focusing on developing products from 68 new molecular entities in its pharmaceuticals pipeline and 55 potential diagnostics platforms and tests.