Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Unilever Confident despite 1.7% Share Price Fall; FTSE 100

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Unilever Confident despite 1.7% Share Price Fall; FTSE 100

Article excerpt

Byline: tom solly Brewin Dolphin

THE FTSE 100 Index took a step forward on Thursday and closed up 28.3 points at 6703. AstraZeneca was in the news for the second time in three days after announcing its first quarter results.

Paul Soriot, the French chief executive of Britain's second-biggest pharmaceuticals group, has set out a manifesto for the company's continued independence by announcing the possible sale of its non-core units.

This has come in the wake of speculation over a $100bn takeover by Pfizer.

Soriot said the future of its neuroscience and anti-infection businesses are under review and he hoped to announce some news "in the near future".

Soriot also trumpeted an accelerating pipeline of drugs as four experimental medicines, including two to treat cancer, are set for late-stage clinical testing, and the first quarterly sales growth for more than three years. Shares in AstraZeneca closed 3.3% higher at 4175p as investors welcomed the prospect of potential disposals, or partnerships, that some analysts said could be worth up to a combined US$15bn. …

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