Novartis, the Swiss drugmaker, reported full-year sales growth of 2% thanks to strong performances from blockbusters Cosentyx and Entresto, and said it expected "sustainable growth" thanks to its "rich" pipeline of upcoming launches.
Net sales of $12.9bn in its fourth quarter – up 2% on the same period a year ago on a constant currency basis – beat market expectations of $12.7bn and helped push full-year net sales up to $49.1bn, also a rise of 2% on the prior year.
Other Q4 and full-year highlights
All on a constant currency basis:
- Operating income: Q4 up 41% to $2.07bn; full year up 7% to $8.63bn
- Net income: Q4 up 58% to $1.98bn; full year up 12% to $7.7bn
- Earnings per share (EPS): Q4 up 59% to 85 US cents; full year up 14% to $3.28
- Core operating income: Q4 up 5% to $3.22bn; full year flat at $12.85bn
- Core net income: Q4 up 4% to $2.82bn; full year up 2% to $11.39bn
- Core EPS: Q4 up 6% to $1.21; full year up 3% to $4.86
- Free cash flow: Q4 $2.46bn; full year $10.43bn
Departing chief executive Joe Jimenez (left), said: "Novartis had a good year in 2017. It was a landmark year for innovation resulting in a rich late stage pipeline, and with several key launches on the horizon and our new operating model in place, Novartis is poised for sustainable growth.”
Vas Narasimhan, who takes the helm on 1 February, said: "My priorities will be driving our next growth phase by strengthening operational execution, delivering more breakthrough innovation, pivoting to become a data centric, digitally enabled organisation, building trust and reputation and transforming our culture."