By Cecilia Butini 
 

Novartis AG said Tuesday that earnings and sales grew on-year in the third quarter and announced a strategic review of its generics division Sandoz, which could include separation of the business.

The Swiss pharma major posted net profit of $2.76 billion for the quarter, up from $1.93 billion the year prior, on sales which grew to $13.03 billion from $12.26 billion in the third quarter of 2020.

Operating profit was $3.23 billion, compared with $2.41 the previous year, and earnings per share came in at $1.23, versus $0.85 the previous year. Core operating income grew to $4.47 billion in the quarter from $4.07 billion the previous year.

Key growth drivers in the quarter were again heart-failure drug Entresto, psoriasis and arthritis treatment Cosentyx and Kesimpta, a treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis. Novartis increased its 2021 peak sales guidance for Cosentyx and Entresto to at least $7 billion and at least $5 billion, respectively.

Regarding its generics division Sandoz, the company said that it has commenced a strategic review that will explore all options, ranging from retaining the business to separation.

The company had previously said that it would seek to streamline the division after a failed deal with Aurobindo Pharma, and that it would focus more on biosimilars and on strengthening its existing pipeline. Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said during a conference call that the company would provide updates on the division by the end of next year.

Looking at the rest of 2021, Novartis backed a previously given guidance, saying that it expects sales to grow by low- to mid-single digit and core operating income to grow by mid-single digit.

 

Write to Cecilia Butini at cecilia.butini@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2021 02:42 ET (06:42 GMT)

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