Switzerland-based pharmaceutical firm Novartis reported second-quarter earnings fell by 32% from a year ago after its eye-care product subsidiary turned in a weak performance.
Sales for the quarter fell by 5% to $12.7 billion compared with the second quarter of 2014. Much of the decline came from Novartis' Alcon unit, whose sales of surgical equipment, intraocular and contact lenses fell 9% to $2.6 billion.
The company was buoyed by a strong performance within its Sandoz unit, which saw its core operating income increase by 21% during the quarter over the same period in 2014. Sales within Novartis' pharmaceutical division fell by 4% to $7.8 billion during this quarter compared to a year ago.
In June, Sandoz launched its much-anticipated drug Glatopa, the first generic alternative approved by the Food and Drug Administration for Teva Pharmaceuticals' blockbuster multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone. It is estimated that sales of Glatopa could surpass $2 billion.
Novartis is also touting its new heart failure medication Entresto, which the FDA approved this month. Results of a clinical trial found the drug reduced the risk of heart-related death and hospitalization by as much as 20%.
“Novartis had a strong quarter for innovation, with U.S. approval and launch of both Entresto and Glatopa being key highlights,” Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said. “Additionally, we reported a broad range of positive clinical data across franchises, including Tafinlar/Mekinist in metastatic melanoma and Cosentyx in ankylosing spondylitis. We are confident we will deliver on our priorities for the year, and confirm our full-year guidance.”
Overall, the company maintained its financial outlook this year and expects to see continued midsingle-digit growth in net sales overall, with low single-digit sales growth for Alcon.