ZURICH, April 25 (Reuters) - Novartis's first-quarter core net income fell 4 percent, it said on Tuesday, as the Swiss drugmaker's spending to kick start sales at its eyecare unit Alcon and for its heart failure drug Entresto weighed again on earnings.
Core net income fell to $2.69 billion, Novartis said, beating the $2.67 billion average forecast of analysts in a Reuters poll. Sales fell 1 percent to $11.54 billion, compared to the $11.6 billion average estimate in the poll.
The company confirmed its 2017 outlook, with core operating income expected to be broadly in line with last year or to decline at a low-single-digit rate. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)