- AstraZeneca's reported operating profits rose to $1,149m in the third quarter - up 12% on an actual basis and 9% at constant currencies.

Reported operating profits for the first nine months rose to $2,991m - up 26% on an actual basis and 16% at constant currencies.

Core operating profits for Q3 rose to $1,853m - up 9% at both actual and constant currencies.

The group saw a receding impact from losses of exclusivity: product Sales declined by 3% (2% at CER) in the quarter.

Other highlights:

- Externalisation revenue: $2,023m, including $997m received in the quarter from the MSD3 collaboration

- Cost discipline continued

* Reported R&D costs declined by 3% (1% at CER) to $4,206m; Core R&D costs declined by 5% (2% at CER) to $3,956m

* Reported SG&A costs declined by 11% (9% at CER) to $7,155m; Core SG&A costs declined by 7% (5% at CER) to $5,678m

- The company now anticipates a 2017 core EPS performance towards the favourable end of the guidance range of a low to mid teens percentage decline

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said: 'Our financial performance in the quarter was in line with expectations, reflecting good commercial execution, including strong growth in Emerging Markets with standout sales in China.

'It was, however, the raft of news flow and approvals that was most notable.

'In particular, the positive developments for Tagrisso and Imfinzi in lung cancer and benralizumab and tezepelumab in asthma offset the disappointment of the first readout from the MYSTIC trial.

'The Accelerated Approval for Calquence in the treatment of an aggressive form of blood cancer was an important milestone for a medicine that will be the cornerstone of our presence in blood cancers.

'Further, the new strategic collaboration with MSD offers significant opportunities to maximise the potential of Lynparza.

'This impressive momentum is set to continue with regulatory and data milestones that have the potential to show how our science-led strategy and pipeline-driven transformation are delivering for patients and shareholders.'

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