NovartisNovartis' net sales rose 4% (+5% cc) to USD 14.8 billion in the fourth quarter. The strengthening of the US dollar against most major currencies negatively impacted sales by 1 percentage point.

Pharmaceuticals net sales grew 4% (+5% cc) to USD 8.3 billion, driven by 10 percentage points of volume growth, partly offset by generic entries and product divestments, which had a negative impact of 5 percentage points. Alcon net sales of USD 2.4 billion rose 6% (+7% cc) on a pro forma basis, while Sandoz net sales declined 5% (-4% cc) to USD 2.3 billion due to additional competition to enoxaparin. Vaccines and Diagnostics net sales expanded 86% (+86% cc) to USD 671 million. Consumer Health - which comprises OTC and Animal Health - was down 7% (-6% cc) at USD 1.1 billion due to OTC product return provisions, following the temporary suspension of production at one of the US Consumer Health sites.

Full year: Double-digit net sales growth
Net sales rose 16% (+12% cc) to USD 58.6 billion, with a positive currency impact of 4% arising from the weakness of the US dollar against most major currencies during much of 2011.

Recently launched products sales grew 38% over 2010 (in USD, excluding the A(H1N1) pandemic flu vaccine and including Alcon on a pro forma basis for 2010) to USD 14.4 billion. These products contributed 25% of Group net sales, up from 19% in 2010.

Pharmaceuticals net sales grew 7% (+4% cc) to USD 32.5 billion, and Alcon net sales of USD 10.0 billion rose 10% (+7% cc) on a pro forma basis. Sandoz net sales also grew 10% (+7% cc) to USD 9.5 billion. Vaccines and Diagnostics net sales were down 32% (-34% cc) to USD 2.0 billion, mainly due to USD 1.3 billion of A(H1N1) pandemic flu vaccine sales in 2010. Net sales of the two Consumer Health businesses together grew 6% (+3% cc) to USD 4.6 billion.

Commenting on the results, Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, said: "Novartis achieved solid sales growth and strong operating leverage in the fourth quarter and for the year as a whole. We maintained our innovation momentum this year, achieving 15 key approvals and expanding our already robust pipeline. We also improved core margins through targeted productivity initiatives. However, we experienced some disappointments in the fourth quarter, with Tekturna/Rasilez and with the need to improve our quality standards at some manufacturing sites. We are committed to ensuring one single high quality standard across Novartis and will invest the necessary resources to achieve this goal in all divisions. Novartis is well positioned as we face the expected patent expirations and will continue discovering new treatments to improve the health of patients across the globe."

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, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2010, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 50.6 billion, while approximately USD 9.1 billion (USD 8.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges) was invested in R&D throughout the Group. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 121,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world.