Novartis reports sharply higher half-year profits

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis says its net profits for the first half of 2013 shot up by 13 percent from the same period a year earlier as it stuck by its forecast of continued sales growth across the year.

Novartis reports sharply higher half-year profits
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Driven by strong sales in emerging markets such as China and Russia, net profits for the first six months rose to $5.56 billion, compared to $4.97 billion for the same period in 2013, the group said on Thursday.
Group turnover also grew, but at a slower rate, rising two percent to $28.66 billion, according to the earnings statement.
Novartis boss Joseph Jimenez hailed what he called his group's "solid financial performance".

The Basel-based pharma titan said it was keeping its full-year forecast of a growth in turnover of "low to mid-single digits".

In the second quarter, profits rose by three percent to reach $2.58 billion, Novartis said.

Novartis has seen radical changes in the past few months, announcing in April a string of multi-billion-dollar deals with rival GlaxoSmithKline in what Jimenez described as a "transformational moment" for the Swiss group.

The deals will see Novartis sharpen its focus on the high-grossing cancer sector and GSK seeking to boost its share in the vaccine market.

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