Novartis Reports Strong Sales for Third Quarter

BASEL, Switzerland— Novartis (NYSE: NVS) reported strong sales performance in the third quarter driven by growth products' momentum with group net sales up 4 percent to $14.3 billion for the third quarter and up 2 percent to $42.8 billion for the first nine months of the year.

Pharmaceuticals net sales reached $7.9 billion, up 1 percent in the third quarter driven by strong volume growth and pricing partly offset by the impact of generic competition, Novartis said. Pharmaceuticals net sales reached $23.89 billion for the first nine months of the year, relatively unchanged from 2012 sales.

Net income for the third quarter was $2.26 billion, a 6 percent decrease over the year-ago period.

Alcon net sales amounted to $2.5 billion a 3 percent increase for the third quarter, benefitting from strong growth in the surgical franchise, which was up 5 percent. Alcon’s net sales for the first nine months of the year came in at $7.8 billion, representing a 3 percent increase over same period 2012.

Surgical performance was driven by the cataract segment, with the continued procedural market rebound and overall market share gains, as well as by continued demand for LenSx femtosecond laser technology. Ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, up by 3 percent for the third quarter was driven by market share gains across fixed dose combination glaucoma and infection/inflammation products, offset by U.S. generic prostaglandin competition.

Vision care also grew, up by 1 percent at $630 million in third quarter sales, with solid gains in contact lenses partially offset by flatness in contact lens care products. Contact lens sales were up 6 percent at constant currency rates driven by growth in AirOptix and Dailies Total1 as well as strength in Clear Care.

The third quarter saw continued pipeline progress with positive regulatory decisions and significant clinical trial data released. Alcon secured regulatory clearances in the U.S. and Europe to permit the launch of two components of its next-generation cataract refractive suite: Centurion, a new phacoemulsification platform which provides enhanced ocular safety through better fluidics control, and Verion, which facilitates planning and automating key steps of the surgical procedure. Together, Centurion and Verion offer cataract surgeons the possibility to significantly improve patient outcomes and optimize patient management, according to Novartis.

Commenting on the results, Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, said, "Novartis delivered strong sales performance in the third quarter, with all divisions contributing to growth. We achieved impressive momentum in innovation, and set an industry record with our third FDA breakthrough therapy designated product of the year for BYM338 in a degenerative muscle disease. Our strategy of leading through science-based innovation is the right one for the business, for patients and for our shareholders."