Shares in AstraZeneca were up on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading, despite the group reporting a drop in revenue and pre-tax profit in the third quarter, thanks to the loss of exclusivity on some of its brands and the disposals of Astra Tech and Aptium.

Group revenue was down 15 per cent in Q3 from the previous year to $6.6 billion, while reported pre-tax profit fell 48 per cent to $2.0 billion.

On 1 October AstraZeneca announced that its share buyback had been suspended. In the year to date the group has repurchased $2.3 billion worth of shares.

Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, commented, "As expected, the Company's financial performance in 2012 largely reflects the ongoing impact from the loss of exclusivity for several brands in key markets, as well as the challenges that confront the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. Since joining AstraZeneca, I've been deeply impressed by the commitment, talent and passion of our people and by their determination to deliver against our targets. As I take up my new role as Chief Executive, my priority is to restore the Company to growth and scientific leadership."

By 11:50 shares in AstraZeneca were up 0.83 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 2,908.50 pence per share.