Novartis posts 3 percent profit rise for 2Q, cites strong momentum for new product development

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG says its second-quarter profit rose 3 percent from a year earlier, reflecting solid growth and an increased focus on core products.

The Basel-based company reports that profit during the April-June quarter rose to $3.28 billion, up from $3.18 billion in the same quarter of 2013, helped by "strong innovation momentum" and rising sales in some of its household brands.

Novartis said Thursday that its outlook for 2014 is mid-to-high single-digit sales growth, partly due to its confidence from progress and approvals for cancer and heart drugs that are in development.

CEO Joseph Jimenez told reporters the company delivered a solid quarter and is benefiting from "a sweeping transformation" of its commercial portfolio.