Novartis backs 2018 outlook after sales grow
Novartis AG (NOVN.EB) on Wednesday backed its view for 2018 after its net group sales grew, mainly underpinned by drugs Cosentyx and Entresto.
Net sales for the company grew to $13.16 billion from $12.24 billion, the company said, with its oncology division registering continued growth throughout the year after suffering from the loss of exclusivity for its blockbuster drug Gleevec/Glivec.
The Swiss pharmaceutical giant said second-quarter net income was $7.77 billion compared to $1.98 billion in the previous year, benefit ting from a $5.7 billion net gain from the sale of its stake in a consumer healthcare joint-venture with GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK). For this reason, it said a quarter-on-quarter comparison wasn’t meaningful. Its stake in the joint venture sold for $13 billion, the company said.
It backed its outlook for the year, expecting group net sales to grow at a low to mid-single digit rate.
Novartis announced a number of measures this year to focus its operations.
Last month, it said it would spin off its Alcon eye-care unit, a business unit valued at more than $20 billion. Earlier this month, it said it would abandon antiviral and antibiotic research.
Chief Executive Vasant Narasimhan has been vocal about effecting the transition.
On Wednesday, he said the company made "significant progress this quarter to transform [itself] into a focused-medicines company."
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