Novartis delivered solid 2016 performance

NovartisNovartis announced today that the net sales were USD 48.5 billion (-2%, 0% cc) in the full year, as volume growth of 6 percentage points was offset by the negative impact of generic competition (-4 percentage points) and pricing (-2 percentage points). Growth Products contributed USD 17.1 billion or 35% of net sales, up 20% (USD) over the prior year.

Operating income was USD 8.3 billion (-8%, -3% cc). Core adjustments amounted to USD 4.7 billion (2015: USD 4.8 billion), broadly in line with the prior year.

Core operating income was USD 13.0 billion (-6%, -2% cc). Core operating income margin in constant currencies decreased 0.7 percentage points, mainly due to the loss of exclusivity on Gleevec, as investments behind new launches and the Alcon Division growth plan were partially offset by resource allocation and productivity programs. Currency had a negative impact of 0.4 percentage points, resulting in a net decrease of 1.1 percentage points to 26.8% of net sales.

Net income was USD 6.7 billion (-5%, +1% cc), with the increase relative to the operating income decline due to higher income from associated companies.

Innovative Medicines net sales were USD 32.6 billion (-2%, 0% cc) for the full year, as volume growth (+7 percentage points) was offset by the impact of generic competition (-6 percentage points) and pricing (-1 percentage point).

Operating income was USD 7.4 billion (-5%, 0% cc). Core operating income was USD 10.4 billion (-5%, -1% cc). Core operating income margin in constant currencies decreased by 0.2 percentage points, mainly due to launch investments for Entresto and Cosentyx, partially offset by resource allocation and productivity improvements; currency had a negative impact of 0.6 percentage points, resulting in a net decrease of 0.8 percentage points to 31.8% of net sales.

Sandoz net sales were USD 10.1 billion (+1%, +2% cc) for the full year, as volume growth of 8 percentage points more than offset 6 percentage points of price erosion. Global sales of Biopharmaceuticals grew 31% (cc) to reach USD 1.0 billion, benefitting from the performance of prior-year launches in the US (Glatopa in June 2015 and Zarxio in September 2015).

Operating income was USD 1.4 billion (+11%, +14% cc). Core operating income was USD 2.1 billion (+1%, +4% cc). Core operating income margin in constant currencies increased by 0.2 percentage points; currency had a negative impact of 0.1 percentage points, resulting in a net increase of 0.1 percentage points to 20.4% of net sales.

Alcon Division net sales were USD 5.8 billion (-3%, -2% cc) for the full year. Surgical sales (-3% cc) reflected lower sales of Cataract and Refractive equipment, as well as competitive pressures in IOLs, partially offset by continued solid growth of cataract consumables. Vision Care sales were flat (0% cc), with growth in contact lenses offsetting a decline in contact lens care.

Operating loss was USD 132 million, compared to an income of USD 281 million in the prior year. Core operating income was USD 850 million (-31%, -27% cc), impacted by increased investments in M&S and R&D behind the growth plan and the decline in sales. Core operating income margin in constant currencies decreased by 5.3 percentage points; currency had a negative impact of 0.7 percentage points, resulting in a net decrease of 6.0 percentage points to 14.6% of net sales.

Commenting on the results, Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, said: "Novartis delivered a solid performance in 2016, absorbing Gleevec US loss of exclusivity while investing in key launches and the Alcon Division turnaround. Cosentyx reached blockbuster status in 2016, and the conditions are now in place for Entresto sales to accelerate in 2017. We made major strides in advancing our pipeline, executing our bolt-on M&A strategy and implementing our new focused organization. Today we are proposing an increase in our dividend and initiating a share buyback of up to USD 5 billion. Additionally, we are reviewing options for the Alcon Division to maximize shareholder value."

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion (USD 8.4 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world.

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