Novartis profit and sales up in Q2


Strong contribution from the Alcon eye care division

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis saw its profit grow in the second quarter of 2011 by 12% to US$2.72m, boosted by strong contributions from the Alcon eye care division, generics division Sandoz, and Consumer Health. Sales rose by 27% to US$14.9bn.

Novartis’ chief executive Joseph Jimenez said ‘excellent execution behind a sound strategy’ had resulted in another successful quarter.

On a pro forma basis, Alcon grew 12% (+6% in constant currencies), with ‘robust’ growth across geographies and products. Sandoz’ net sales rose 25% (+16% cc) to US$2.5bn. Vaccines & Diagnostics declined 47% (–50% cc) due to A(H1N1) pandemic flu vaccine sales of approximately US$200m in the second quarter of 2010; excluding this, Novartis said sales declined due to timing of product shipments to key customers. The Consumer Health businesses (OTC and Animal Health) grew 13% (+5% cc) in the second quarter, compared with the previous year.

Recently launched products grew 46% over the previous-year quarter to US$3.8bn. Growth leaders included multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya, chronic myeloid leukemia therapy Tasigna and Lucentis for wet age-related macular degeneration.

Novartis said emerging markets are increasingly contributing to its business. Net sales in Brazil, China, India, Russia, South Korea and Turkey rose 27% (+19% cc) to US$1.5bn in the second quarter, representing 10% of total net sales in the quarter.

The firm said its strategy is based on providing a comprehensive set of products, allowing it to maintain its growth momentum into the future and adapt ahead of changes to the healthcare marketplace.

Novartis added that its commitment to r&d enables it continually to expand its pipeline and achieve breakthroughs in areas of unmet patient need.

In the second quarter, it received four major approvals for combination blood pressure pill Rasilamio in Europe; COPD bronchodilator Arcapta Neohaler in the US; indacaterol in Japan under the brand name Onbrez Inhalation Capsules; and Everolimus was approved in Switzerland under the name Votubia as a treatment for subependymal giant cell astrocytoma. Two major filings and significant results for new products and indications also contributed to the results.