Novartis starts share buyback, highlights product pipeline

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is pictured at the French company's headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris, France, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis is initiating a previously announced share buyback worth up to $2.5 billion, it said here on Tuesday as it highlighted its research and development pipeline in an investor presentation.

The Swiss drugmaker also increased its target for a technical operations productivity programme starting in 2021 to $2 billion from $1.5 billion and said it was committed to driving constant margin expansion.

Novartis said its product pipeline was set to fuel growth in the mid-to long-term.

“The total value of estimated sales of products launched from 2020 to 2026 puts Novartis as number two for pipeline replacement power in the global pharmaceutical industry,” it said.

The share buyback starts immediately and will last into the first half of 2021, it said.

Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Thomas Seythal and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi