Two days after announcing a radical overhaul of its structure, Novartis posted first-quarter profit that beat expectations boosted by an exceptional gain from the sale of its blood transfusion test unit.
The Swiss company said first-quarter net profit jumped 24 percent to $2.97 billion, beating the mean estimate of $2.7 billion in a Reuters poll. The figure was boosted by higher operating income which included a $900 million pre-tax gain from the divestment of its blood transfusion test unit to Spain's Grifols last November.
Net sales inched up 1 percent to $14.022 billion, compared to the average estimate of $14.246 billion.
The drugmaker's first-quarter results come two days after it announced deals worth over $25 billion to simplify its structure, strengthen its cancer portfolio and exit underperforming businesses.
The overhaul reflects a wider trend among big pharmaceutical companies to focus on a smaller number of businesses with global scale as the industry contends with dwindling healthcare budgets.
Marking the conclusion of a year-long portfolio review, Novartis said it would buy GlaxoSmithKline's cancer drugs for up to $16 billion, while GSK will acquire Novartis' vaccines unit for up to $7.1 billion.