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Novartis 2Q Net Profit Up Marginally, Beating Expectations

By Marta Falconi ZURICH--Swiss drug maker Novartis AG (NVS) said Thursday its net profit rose slightly in the second quarter, helped by the good performance of its eye care unit and the flagship pharmaceutical division, which helped offset weaker sales of blockbuster drug Diovan, which was hurt by increased generics competition. The Basel-based company said it is on track to deliver 2012 full-year outlook after net profit for the three months to the end of June edged up to $2.71 billion from $2.70 billion in the same period a year earlier, above analysts' expectations of $2.52 billion. Net sales were down 4% at $14.3 billion, hurt by increased competition for the company's generic unit Sandoz and the continued drag from the suspension of production at a factory in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sales at the flagship pharmaceuticals division decreased 1% to $8.3 billion. Write to Marta Falconi at marta.falconi@dowjones.com Order free Annual Report for Novartis AG Visit http://djnweurope.ar.wilink.com/?ticker=CH0012005267 or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Order free Annual Report for Novartis AG Visit http://djnweurope.ar.wilink.com/?ticker=US66987V1098 or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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