Novartis 3Q Net Profit Rises as New Drugs Offset Generic Competition

By Sonia Amaral Rohter Features Dow Jones Newswires

Novartis AG (NOVN.EB) said on Tuesday that its third-quarter net profit increased as growth from two recently launched drugs, Cosentyx and Entresto, helped offset the negative impact of generic competition.

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The Swiss pharmaceuticals company reported third-quarter net profit of $2.08 billion compared with $1.95 billion during the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter increased 2.4% to $12.41 billion, Novartis said.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected net income for the quarter of $2.02 billion and sales of $12.34 billion.

Sales at Alcon, Novartis's eyecare unit, increased 6% to $1.5 billion, it said.

Novartis, which had announced a strategic review of Alcon in January, said that it has made progress in its evaluation of the possibilities for Alcon, and that the review shows that creating a "stand-alone company via a capital markets exit" could create additional value.

The company says a final decision will depend on continued Alcon sales growth and margin improvement over multiple quarters. It says that action is not likely before the first half of 2019.

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The company confirmed its 2017 outlook and said that net sales are expected to be in line with the prior year on a constant-currency basis and core operating income is expected to be in line or show low single-digit decline.

Write to Sonia Amaral Rohter at sonia.amaralrohter@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 01:50 ET (05:50 GMT)