April 28, 2020 / 5:18 AM / a month ago

Novartis sales, profit rise amid coronavirus as drugmaker confirms 2020 outlook

ZURICH, April 28 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis boosted first-quarter sales and profit and confirmed its 2020 targets as its generics unit's sales were lifted during the coronavirus epidemic without disruptions in business for its main products.

Core net income rose to $3.55 billion, from $2.8 billion in 2019 and compared to the average analyst forecast in a Refinitiv poll of $3.17 billion. Sales rose to $12.3 billion from a $11.1 billion in the year-ago period, above the poll average of $12 billion.

Net income rose 16% to $2.2 billion, from $1.9 billion last year. The Basel-based company still expects revenue to grow at a mid- to high-single-digit percentage rate, with core operating profit growth even faster at a high-single to low-double-digit rate. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)

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