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

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.

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.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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