Novartis cheers copycat delays

City A.M. Reporter
SWISS drugmaker Novartis raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts for a second quarter in a row yesterday, as it benefited from delays to a cheap, copycat competitor to one of its best-selling drugs, blood pressure pill Diovan.

Novartis’ net sales rose four per cent in the third quarter to $14.34bn. Core earnings per share fell four per cent to $1.26, missing the $1.29 mean estimate.

Adverse foreign exchange rates shaved six percentage points off third quarter core operating income.