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Novartis profits boosted by new drug sales

image captionNovartis said its wide range of drugs was helping it to keep ahead of the competition

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis has reported a rise in quarterly profits thanks to a jump in sales of recently-launched drugs.

Net profits for the second quarter were $2.73bn (£1.7bn), a rise of 12% on the $2.44bn the company made a year earlier. Sales rose by 27% to $14.92bn.

The company said it had benefited from a weakening of the US dollar.

Sales were also boosted by the takeover of US eye-care firm Alcon, which was completed in December last year.

"Our diversified healthcare portfolio, focused on high growth segments, is enabling us to generate superior results," said Joseph Jiminez, chief executive of Novartis.

US takeover

Sales of recently-launched products grew by almost a half compared with a year earlier, the company said.

It highlighted strong sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya.

The weakening US dollar also helped to boost sales by 8%, the firm added.

Novartis completed its takeover of US eye-care company Alcon last December by buying the shares it did not own for $12.9bn (£8bn), taking the total amount spent on the acquisition to more than $40bn.

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