Novartis Sees 19% Profit Surge

Will cut sales jobs in U.S.

Novartis reported 19% growth in nine-month profits on Oct. 20, saying that it would end the year with record sales and earnings despite volatile economic conditions. It also announced that it was slashing 550 sales jobs in the U.S., in a reorganization that is expected to save the group $80 million yearly from 2010.

"Despite the economic uncertainty in the world markets, Novartis is on track for another year of record results in 2008, continuing to build momentum by focusing on innovation and performance," said Daniel Vasella, chairman and chief executive of the group.

For the third quarter alone, net profit was up 32% to $2.08 billion, the company said.

Novartis, which makes drugs such as hypertension medication Diovan, said it was pushing for expansion in high growth emerging markets, and that emerging markets now make up about a quarter of total sales. In its seven priority markets of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and Turkey, net sales for the nine months rose 17% to $3.3 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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