Novartis have increased its dividend by 25% based on strong 2008 results from their strategic healthcare portfolio.
Commenting on the results, Dr Daniel Vasella, chairman and CEO of Novartis said: “Thanks to successful innovation and a leading market position of our healthcare business portfolio, Novartis achieved a strong performance in 2008. Pharmaceuticals returned to dynamic growth and gained market share in the second half of the year, while Vaccines and Diagnostics continued its double-digit growth. Recently launched pharmaceutical products contributed $2.9 billion in sales in 2008 further rejuvenating our portfolio, and we submitted 14 major new products filings that underpin our innovation power. Organic growth was complemented by several acquisitions and strategic investments, the most important being the acquisition of a 25% share of Alcon. Novartis anticipates another year of record results in 2009, continuing on its path of sustainable growth.”
The results show:
- Sustained momentum during 2008 from continuing operations.
- Net sales rise 9% (+5% in local currencies) to $41.5 billion on accelerating growth in Pharmaceuticals along with important contributions from Vaccines and Diagnostics and Consumer Health.
- Operating income advances 32% to $9.0 billion.
- Net income up 25% to $8.2 billion, impacted by a higher 2008 tax rate and start of financing costs for 25% Alcon stake.
- Basic EPS rises 28% to $3.59 from $2.81 in 2007.
- Sustained R&D productivity with 14 major regulatory submissions in 2008, led by Afinitor (US/EU), QAB149 (US/EU), ACZ885 (US/EU) and Menveo (US/EU).
- Dividend of CHF 2.00 per share proposed for 2008, a 25% increase from 2007 and representing a payout of 53% of net income from continuing operations.
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