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Exchange rates cut Novartis profits for 2013

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Exchange rates cut Novartis profits for 2013
Photo: Novartis
11:23 CET+01:00
Basel-based pharmaceuticals giant Novartis on Wednesday announced that its net profit fell one percent in 2013 to $9.2 billion from the previous year, blaming the impact of unfavourable exchange rates.

Without taking into account rate fluctuations -- notably the fall of the Japanese yen and emerging markets' currencies against the dollar -- the group said that profit rose by seven percent last year from 2012.
   
"Novartis delivered strong performance in 2013, growing both net sales and core operating income in constant currencies while absorbing patent expirations," chief executive Joseph Jimenez said in a statement.
   
"We maintained good momentum in innovation," he underlined, noting that 18 new Novartis drugs had won approval from regulators and that the US Federal Drug Administration had granted three products "breakthrough therapy" status.
   
"Our growth products continued to expand, rejuvenating our portfolio and reinforcing our growth prospects," Jimenez said.
   
Operation profit fell by three percent to $10.9 billion, while sales climbed two percent to $57.9 billion.
   
Like other pharmaceuticals firms, Novartis faces a strong challenges from makers of generic drugs, sales of which knocked $2.2 billion off the Swiss group's figures last year.
   
The Novartis board is to propose a dividend of 2.45 francs ($2.73) per share.

Analysts said there were few surprises in group's performance.

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