Novartis recorded double-digit growth in 2011 to $58.6 billion after its pharmaceutical division, boosted by sales in Europe, recorded revenues of $32.5bn.
Net sales were up by 16% after products such as Diovan (6%), Gilvec (+9%) and Lucentis (+34%) all recorded billion dollar revenues.
Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, says the company achieved “solid sales growth and strong operating leverage” and is “well positioned” as it enters 2012.
Europe remained the largest region for the company generating sales of $11.6bn, around 35% of global net sales, which helped the company offset healthcare costs and generic erosion. In the US, sales of $10bn contributed 31% of global net sales, with increases also registered in Japan ($3.9bn), Latin America and Canada ($3bn) and in emerging markets ($3.2bn).
Sales of hypertension medication Diovan were down 6% compared to last year but still managed to reach £5.6bn. Global sales declined after the loss of patent exclusivity in the EU, although Novartis says the treatment remains the top-selling anti-hypertensive drug in the world, with a 13.27% share of the market.
Cancer treatments Gilvec ($4.2bn) and Sandostatin ($1.4bn, +12%) recorded growth in 2011, but Zometa saw sales drop by 2% to $1.48bn. Lucentis, indicated for wet age related macular degeneration (AMD), visual impairment due to diabetic macular edema (DME), and visual impairment due to macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO), also generated $4.2bn.
Core operating income increased by 14% to $15.9 billion and core EPS was also up by 8% to $5.57bn. Operating income declined by 5% but the Swiss-based company still recorded free cash flow for 2011 of $12.5bn.
It now predicts sales figures for 2012 to be in line with its 2011 results, but points towards the company’s diversified healthcare portfolio and pipeline to sustain growth.
“We maintained our innovation momentum this year, achieving 15 key approvals and expanding our already robust pipeline,” said Joseph Jimenez. “We also improved core margins through targeted productivity initiatives. 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.”