The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Novartis continues to grow strongly in the final quarter

Novartis made further strong gains in the final quarter of 2023. Following the Sandoz spin-off at the beginning of October, this was the first full quarter as a focused pharmaceutical company. The Group intends to pay shareholders a higher dividend.

Novartis generated sales of 11.4 billion US dollars between October and December. This is an increase of 8 percent compared to the same period last year, the Group announced on Wednesday. At constant exchange rates (CER), the increase was 10 percent, which means that growth slowed slightly compared to the third quarter (+12%).

In operating terms, Novartis earned USD 2.6 billion (+47%) in the fourth quarter, while net income amounted to USD 2.6 billion compared to USD 1.3 billion in the previous year. This significant increase was mainly due to higher net sales and lower restructuring costs, according to the press release. A favorable tax effect also had a positive impact on net profit.

For analysts, however, the core operating profit adjusted for various factors is more important. At 3.8 billion, this was slightly worse than the AWP consensus in the fourth quarter.

Novartis generated sales of CHF 45.4 billion (+ 8%) in the full 2023 financial year. At constant exchange rates, this represents an increase of 10 percent. The company thus achieved the net growth in the high single-digit percentage range forecast by management. The bottom line was a net profit of CHF 8.6 billion, compared with just over CHF 6.0 billion in the previous year.

Shareholders will receive an increased dividend of CHF 3.30 from CHF 3.20.

In the current year, Novartis management is again aiming for growth at constant exchange rates. Sales at Group level are expected to grow in the mid single-digit percentage range. An increase in the high single-digit percentage range is targeted for core operating profit.

©Keystone/SDA

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