Novartis earnings lead higher on Cosentyx and Entresto sales By Reuters

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company’s logo is seen at Swiss drugmaker Novartis’ new cell and gene therapy factory in Stein, Switzerland, November 28, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

By Ludwig Burger

(Reuters) – Novartis said on Tuesday its first-quarter core operating income rose 3% as sales growth from new drugs offset unfavorable currency effects, but fell short of analyst estimates.

The Swiss drugmaker’s quarterly core operating income rose to $4.08 billion from $3.96 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $4.13 billion, according to Refinitiv.

Quarterly revenue from arthritis and psoriasis drug Cosentyx rose 12% in constant currency to $1.16 billion, slightly below analysts’ median forecast of $1.19 billion.

Heart failure treatment revenue Entresto grew 42% to $1.1 billion, beating the market consensus of $1 billion.

The Swiss drugmaker, which is weighing interest in its Sandoz generics business from potential buyers, said Sandoz’s strategic review is progressing and reiterated that it expects to provide an update by the end of the year at the latest.

Novartis in October raised the prospect of selling Sandoz after years of transformation as pricing pressures mount in the off-patent drug sector.

Novartis, which confirmed its earnings guidance for full-year 2022 on Tuesday, raised $20.7 billion in December from the sale of its 33 percent stake in Roche to Swiss rivals.

Despite plans to buy back up to $15 billion worth of stock, Novartis has said it retains enough purchasing power to buy companies and technologies, support its own research efforts, and pay attractive dividends.

This month, the company unveiled plans for a simplified structure that integrates its pharmaceutical and oncology units, targeting savings of at least $1 billion by 2024.

($1 = 0.9207 Swiss Francs) Novartis earnings lead higher on Cosentyx and Entresto sales By Reuters

Chris Barrese

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