Novartis posts 17 percent rise in Q2 net income
18 July 2008
BASEL – Drug maker Novartis AG on Thursday reported a 17 percent increase in net income for the second quarter, thanks to recent acquisitions and strong sales.
Net income rose to USD 2.3 billion (CHF 2.35 billion) in the three months ending 30 June, compared with USD 1.9 billion in the same period last year, Novartis said.
Analysts said the results beat expectations. Shares in Novartis closed up 0.87 percent at CHF 57.95 in Zurich.
Sales grew 14 percent to USD 10.7 billion on stronger than expected growth in the pharmaceuticals division, the company said.
Vaccines and diagnostics sales expanded at a fast pace, Novartis said. But growth of generic brand Sandoz and consumer health products was only moderate because of difficult market conditions in the United States, it added.
The company has been hit by strong competition from generics, particularly in the U.S.
This, combined with the withdrawal of its bowel drug Zelnorm from the U.S. market in 2007, contributed to a 3 percent drop in U.S. sales for the second quarter.
Novartis last week completed the first stage of its USD 38 billion takeover of U.S. eye-care company Alcon Inc.
It also acquired a majority stake in the Swiss pharmaceutical maker Speedel Holding AG last week and said it planned to buy the remaining shares in a public tender offer.
Speedel and Novartis jointly developed the high blood pressure drug Tekturna, which is known as Rasilez outside of the United States.
[AP / Expatica]