January 24, 2018 / 6:20 AM / a year ago

Novartis beats analyst forecasts, predicts 2018 growth on new drugs

BASEL, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis on Wednesday forecast 2018 operating profit would grow faster than sales as revenue from drugs including its latest blockbuster Cosentyx accelerates and the company exits a period when patent losses dented results.

Core net income in the fourth quarter of 2017 rose 6 percent to $2.82 billion, Novartis said in a statement, compared to the $2.751 billion average forecast in a Reuters poll. Fourth-quarter sales rose to $12.9 billion, compared to the Reuters poll average of $12.62 billion.

The company said 2018 sales would grow at a low-to-mid single digit percentage rate, with core operating profit rising in the mid-to-high single digit percentage range. (Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill)

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