Novartis Q3 Profit Down

Novartis (NVS) reported that its net income for the third-quarter declined 22% to US$1.6 billion, from last year mainly due to the lower operating income and the discontinuation of income from the GSK consumer healthcare joint venture, divested to GSK in the second quarter. Net income was down 18% at constant currencies rates. Earnings per share was US$0.70, down 21% or 17% on constant currencies basis, due to the lower net income partly offset by the lower number of shares outstanding.

The company revised upwards its guidance for Group net sales in 2018, which it now expects to grow mid-single digit at constant currencies. The company said in July that it expected net sales to grow low to mid-single digit at constant currency rates.

The company today confirmed its guidance for Group core operating income in 2018, which it expects to grow mid to high-single digit at constant currencies.

Novartis said that its third-quarter operating income was US$1.9 billion, down 18% or 13% constant currencies mainly due to net charges from the voluntary withdrawal of CyPass (US$0.3 billion), higher restructuring and growth investments, partly offset by continued sales growth and gross margin expansion. Core adjustments amounted to US$1.6 billion compared to US$1.0 billion last year.

Core net income for the third-quarter was US$3.1 billion, up 2% or 5% at constant currencies, as growth in core operating income was partly offset by the discontinuation of core income from the GSK consumer healthcare joint venture.

Core earnings per share rose 2% to $1.32, driven by growth in core net income and the lower number of shares outstanding. It was up 6% at constant currencies.

Net sales for the third quarter were US$12.8 billion, up 3% or 6% constant currencies driven by volume growth of 9 percentage points (constant currencies), mainly from Cosentyx, Entresto, Oncology including AAA, and Alcon. Strong volume growth was partly offset by the negative impacts of pricing (-2 percentage points) and generic competition (-1 percentage point).