Roche full-year profit up 2.4 percent amid demand for cancer medicines

Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG has posted a 2.4 percent increase in its full-year profits as demand grew for its cancer medicines and diagnostic tests used by clinical laboratories.

The Basel-based company said Wednesday that it had a net profit last year of 9.773 billion Swiss francs ($10.57 billion) compared with 9.544 billion Swiss francs for 2011.

It credited the rise to the approval of the breast cancer medicine Perjeta and the weakening of the Swiss franc against the dollar and Japanese yen.

The world's biggest manufacturer of cancer drugs, which reports earnings only every six months, has in recent years battled against the strength of the Swiss franc.

Roche CEO Severin Schwan said "2012 was a very good year for Roche" with strong sales of well-known drugs.