Novartis raises 2018 sales outlook as Entresto, Cosentyx accelerate

ZURICH, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis raised its full-year sales outlook on Thursday, citing growing revenue from its Cosentyx psoriasis and arthritis drug as well as the performance of its heart failure medicine Entresto, whose third-quarter sales more than doubled.

Novartis now expects sales to grow in the mid-single-digit percentage range, up from its previous forecast of low-to-mid-single-digit percentage rates. Operating profit is still seen rising in the mid-to-high-single-digit percentages.

Third-quarter core net income rose 2 percent to $3.1 billion, compared to the average analyst forecast of $3 billion in a Reuters poll. Sales rose 3 percent to $12.78 billion, compared to the average forecast of $12.84 billion in the poll.

Novartis is also buying Endocyte for $2.1 billion. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)