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April 24, 2019, 1:22 a.m. EDT

Novartis sales up, lifts guidance

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By Donato Paolo Mancini

Novartis AG (NOVN.EB) on Wednesday raised its 2019 core operating income growth guidance as sales continued to grow.

Net profit for the first quarter came in at $1.87 billion, down from $1.97 billion the year prior. Its core operating income grew to $3.25 billion from $2.98 billion the year prior.

Net sales grew to $11.11 billion on-year.

The Swiss drugmaker raised its core operating income growth guidance for 2019 to high-single digit, and confirmed its sales guidance for the year at mid-single digit.

"Novartis is off to a strong start in 2019 with the Mayzent launch, successful Alcon spinoff, and strong operational execution leading us to revise 2019 profit guidance upwards," Chief Executive Vasant Narasimhan said.

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