Novartis share price rises as results top expectations after new drugs boost revenues

Oliver Smith
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Novartis sold its 22 per cent stake in Idenix Pharmaceuticals in August for $800m
Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis saw its results top expectations yesterday as strong sales of new drugs pushed up group revenues four per cent to $14.7bn (£9.09bn) in the third quarter.

Novartis has been counting on a wave of new products, including multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya and cancer drugs Tasigna and Afinitor, to offset patent losses on some of its top-selling drugs. “Novartis delivered a very strong third quarter,” said chief executive Joseph Jimenez on the results.

“We delivered solid sales growth with margin expansion.

“At the same time, we reached key innovation milestones, particularly with LCZ696 in heart failure and AIN457 in psoriasis, underlining the innovation power of the company,” he added.

Jimenez said Novartis was on track to file LCZ696 for approval by December this year and expected a decision by US health regulators towards the end of 2015. Net income at the group rose nine per cent to $3.3bn, helped by a pre-tax gain of $800m from the sale of its 22 per cent stake in Idenix Pharmaceuticals to Merck in August.

Shares rose 1.81 per cent on the Swiss exchange yesterday to close up at 87.25 Swiss francs.

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