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Swiss drugs giant Novartis says profit up as spinoff looms

July 18, 2018 GMT

GENEVA (AP) — Novartis says net profit rose 3 percent in the second quarter amid strong growth for some of its top products, as the Swiss pharmaceuticals giant moves to spin off its Alcon eye-care business.

New CEO Vas Narasimhan touted Novartis’ plans to create a “focused medicines company,” including through the Alcon spinoff announced in late June.

Second-quarter core net profit rose to $3.01 billion from $2.87 billion a year earlier. Novartis’ overall net profit was skewed by a $5.7 billion net gain from the sale of its stake in the GSK consumer health-care joint venture.

Sales climbed 5 percent to $13.16 billion.

Sales for heart-failure drug Entresto more than doubled from a year ago to $239 million, while sales of psoriasis treatment Cosentyx jumped 40 percent to $701 million.