Correction to Novartis Earnings Article

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Novartis AG (NOVN.EB) said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net profit increased on higher income from associated companies and strong sales of newer drugs, which helped offset the negative impact of generic competition.

The Swiss pharmaceuticals company reported fourth-quarter net profit of $1.98 billion compared with $957 million during the same period a year ago. After-tax profit for the fourth quarter was $1.98 billion compared with $936 million during the same period the prior year. Revenue for the quarter increased 4.8% to $12.92 billion, Novartis said.

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Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected after-tax profit for the quarter of $1.88 billion and sales of $12.79 billion.

Sales at the eyecare unit Alcon, which has been undergoing a strategic review since early 2017, grew 8.3% to $1.56 billion. Novartis says that it expects net sales growth in the low-to-mid single digit range for Alcon in 2018.

In 2018, the company said that, at constant currency, it expects low-to-mid single digit growth in net sales and mid-to-high single digit growth in core operating income. The company expects mid-single digit growth at its innovative medicines division, while sales at Sandoz, its generic drug division, are expected to be broadly in-line to a slight decline.

For 2017, Novartis proposed a dividend of CHF2.80 a share, a 2% increase over the prior year.

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

Corrections & Amplifications

This article was corrected at 1037 GMT because the original misstated the type of profit in the second and third paragraphs. After-tax profit was $1.98 billion, not pretax profit, and analysts had expected after-tax profit of $1.88 billion, not pretax profit.

Novartis's fourth-quarter after-tax profit was $1.98 billion, compared with $936 million in the same period the prior year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected after-tax profit of $1.88 billion. "Novartis 4Q Profit Rises, Buoyed by Sales of New Drugs -- Update," at 0709 GMT and the original story at 0650 GMT, misstated the type of profit in the second and third paragraphs. After-tax profit was $1.98 billion, not pretax profit, and analysts had expected after-tax profit of $1.88 billion, not pretax profit.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 24, 2018 05:45 ET (10:45 GMT)

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