Novartis says swine flu vaccine boosts profit

January 26, 2010

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis posted on Tuesday an 8.0-percent jump in core annual net profit for 2009, saying that business had been boosted by sales of swine flu vaccine.

The Basel-based company also announced that Daniel Vasella would hand over the chief executive's post to Joe Jimenez, the head of the pharmaceuticals division, a job Vasella had combined with the chairmanship for 11 years.

Vasella, reporting core net profit for last year of 10.3 billion dollars (7.3 billion euros), said: " delivered an excellent performance in 2009 driven by strong underlying growth across our entire healthcare portfolio."

The Swiss giant's , launched alongside rival vaccine makers last year in response to the pandemic alert and state-led campaigns, helped overall net sales grow by seven percent to 44.3 billion, the company said.

"Vaccines and Diagnostics achieved exceptionally high sales by rapidly developing and delivering influenza A (H1N1) vaccines to address the public health threat," the company said.

Novartis said it expected to "maintain momentum" in 2010 with a strong array of newly launched drugs, and helped on by the 40-billion-dollar acquisition of dominant eye care group Alcon from Nestle this month.

"Over the past 12 months, we sustained our lead in approvals for new products, achieving more than 30 major new product approvals in the US, Europe and Japan," Vasella said.

"The planned acquisition of Alcon will propel Novartis to the global leadership position in eye-care and create a new growth platform," he added.

The core annual net profit of 10.3 billion dollars compared with profit of 9.5 billion dollars in 2008.

Excluding exceptional items, full-year profit reached 8.4 billion francs, an increase of four percent over the equivalent figure the previous year.

Analysts polled by financial agency AWP had forecast a net profit of 8.6 billion dollars.

Core operating income was up 11 percent to 11.4 billion dollars, Novartis said.

Operating income in the vaccines division more than doubled to 719 million dollars, an increase of 133 percent over 2008, while sales grew 38 percent.

Operating income in the group's core business and biggest earner, pharmaceuticals, grew by 10 percent to 9.07 billion dollars in 2009 on sales growth of eight percent.

Novartis said that Vasella, who became chief executive 14 years ago, would relinquish the post to Jimenez on February 1, under a transition process it began in 2008.

Vasella will continue as chairman of the group, focusing on strategy, it added.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.