Earnings

Novartis posts second-quarter profit beat, keeps 2021 guidance

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Key Points
  • It generated net profit of $3.72 billion and increased core operating income 18% to $4.35 billion.
  • While sales in the three months through June rose 14% to $12.96 billion, a gain of 9% when stripping out currency fluctuations.
Vasant Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, November 18, 2019.
Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

Novartis boosted its second-quarter core net income by a fifth, beating market expectations, the Swiss drugmaker reported on Wednesday, as it kept its 2021 guidance.

It generated net profit of $3.72 billion and increased core operating income 18% to $4.35 billion while sales in the three months through June rose 14% to $12.96 billion, a gain of 9% when stripping out currency fluctuations.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had on average expected net profit of $3.46 billion on revenue of $12.52 billion.

Novartis said its key drug brands were performing well and its product development pipeline continued to progress.

"While demand is starting to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in most geographies and therapeutic areas, we still see a slight impact on parts of our business for example in oncology, generics and certain geographies," it said.

"We are assuming further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the second half of the year with a positive impact on business dynamics."

It reiterated it expected 2021 sales to grow at a low- to mid-single-digit percentage rate, with core operating income seen growing at a mid-single-digit percentage rate ahead of sales.