Gains from deals boost net at Swiss pharma firm Novartis; strong dollar shrinks earnings

MarketsAssociated Press

Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Novartis has reported a large jump in first-quarter net profit as it recorded gains from deals with other drug companies.

Net profit rose to $13.005 billion from $2.968 billion in the year-ago quarter. Profit was boosted by a $10.8 billion gain from transactions with GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Eli Lilly and Co.

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Novartis sold its animal health business to Lilly. It also acquired cancer products from GSK and divested its non-flu vaccines business, while Novartis and GSK combined their consumer health care businesses.

Disregarding those transactions, the company saw sales and earnings fall due to a strong dollar, which shrinks earnings in other currencies. Net sales fell 7 percent to $11.935 billion; profit fell 6 percent in dollar terms to $2.306 billion.