Novartis sees 2018 profit soar 64 percent after exiting GSK venture

  • Bizline
ZURICH

Feb 2, 2019-

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis said on Wednesday that the sale of its stake in a joint venture with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKlein helped boost net profit last year by 64 percent. Novartis said in a statement that it had raked in a net profit of $12.6 billion for 2018, including a $5.7 net gain on its exit from the consumer healthcare joint venture it created with GSK in 2015. Sales came in at $51.9 billion—up six percent from a year earlier but just missing forecasts of analysts polled by Swiss financial news wire AWP, who had anticipated $52.1 billion. Following the news, Novartis saw its share price slip 1.38 percent in mid-morning trading to 84.48 Swiss francs as the Swiss stock exchange’s main SMI index was basically flat. Novartis chief Vas Narasimhan hailed the results as evidence that the company’s strategic shift since he took the reins early last year was paying off. “In 2018 we re-imagined Novartis,” he said in the statement. “We took major steps towards becoming a medicines company that focuses its capital on developing, launching, and creating global access to breakthrough medicines,” he said. “Together with delivering strong accretive growth, we also advanced our strategic priorities including building new advanced therapy platforms, ramping up productivity and digital efforts, and creating a new culture,” he added. In addition to cutting loose Novartis’s stake in the GSK joint venture, the company has since Narasimhan’s arrival made a large acquisition in the genetic therapy realm, opened discussions on selling off its Alcon eye care unit and announced thousands of upcoming job cuts in Switzerland and Britain. (AFP)

Published: 02-02-2019 12:26

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