ZURICH, April 24 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis on Wednesday raised its 2019 guidance after a first-quarter earnings and sales beat, as revenue from its heart failure drug Entresto and psoriasis medicine Cosentyx continued to grow.
First-quarter core net income rose 13 percent at constant exchange rates to $2.81 billion, compared to the $2.76 billion average estimate in a poll by Infront Data. Sales excluding Alcon, spun off to shareholders this month, rose 7 percent to $11.1 billion, compared to the $10.9 billion poll average.
Novartis now expects core operating income growth at a high-single-digit percentage rate, with sales growing in the mid-single-digit percentage range. It had seen net sales growing by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage, with core operating income up at a mid-single-digit rate. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)