Swiss drugmaker Novartis said on Wednesday sales and profit rose in the second quarter, as demand for its psoriasis-and-arthritis medicine and heart-failure drug offset weakness at the Sandoz generics unit.
The company's core operating profit rose 7 percent to $3.541 billion, compared with average forecast of $3.46 billion in a Reuters poll. Sales climbed 5 percent to $13.158 billion compared with forecast of $12.92 billion.
As the demand for its psoriasis-and-arthritis Cosentyx drug and heart-failure medicine Entresto rose, the company confirmed 2018 outlook, lifting expectations for its Alcon eye-care business. However, Novartis lowered forecast for Sandoz as pricing pressure on its U.S. pills business takes a toll.
Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan is counting on sales and profit to rise this year as Cosentyx accelerates and as Alcon, which he plans to spin off next year to investors, recovers from a years-long slump.