Israel-based pharmaceutical major has Teva reported a 7% increase in first-quarter profit, driven by sales growth in international markets.

Net income rose to $761m from the $713m reported in the corresponding year-ago period, while adjusted net income, excluding certain one-time items, grew 13% to $936m.

The results come in spite of weakening performance in North America which saw regional sales fall 11% to $2.06bn. Teva has stood behind its fiscal 2011 earnings and sales forecast.

Last week, the firm agreed a $6.8bn cash deal to buy the US-based biotechnology firm Cephalon , beating rivals including VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS .