Health Desk—Oct 25, 2017: Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said Tuesday a strategic review of its eye care unit showed that Alcon can deliver strong growth, but that a possible spin-off or listing is at least two years away.
While a decision on Alcon's fate had been expected by the end of this year, the firm said it wanted further quarters of sales growth and better profit margins before taking a decision, meaning that no action was likely before the first half of 2019.
Novartis also released Tuesday quarterly results which showed a 7 percent increase in net profit to $2.08 billion on a 2 percent increase in sales to $12.4 billion.
But over the first nine months of the year net profit was down 1 percent to $5.7 billion.
Novartis confirmed its annual outlook of sales similar to the $48.5 billion registered last year and operating profits near or slightly below the $12.9 billion recording in 2016.
However, the firm said it had made significant progress in its strategic review of Alcon, part of which was a decision to transfer over-the-counter Novartis ophthalmic products into the division beginning in January.
Courtesy: Afp, Zurich