Novartis said it plans to list Sandoz in early Q4 2023, according to the company’s latest earnings report released Tuesday morning.
The Swiss pharma giant announced its board of directors endorsed the separation of Sandoz by way of a complete spinoff. The spinoff is still subject to Novartis shareholder approval during a vote scheduled for September as well as meeting certain regulatory conditions for listing Sandoz shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Beyond the spinoff plans, Novartis’ sales grew 7% while core operating incoming grew 9% during the quarter.
Over the same period, operating income increased 31% thanks to higher sales and lower restructuring costs, net income jumped 37% and core earnings per share (EPS) increased 17% to $1.83. Of note, free cash flow dropped 6% to $3.3 billion.
Looking forward, Novartis has raised its full-year group guidance based on its performance in the first half of 2023. Group sales are now expected to grow by high single digits while group core operating income is expected to grow by low double digits.
The company is also initiating a $15 billion share buyback that is slated to be completed by the end of 2025.
“Novartis delivers another strong quarter of sales growth and robust margin expansion, supporting an upgrade to Group guidance for 2023. The performance was broad-based across core therapeutic areas and key geographies,” Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said in a statement. “Our growth drivers and rich pipeline continue to provide confidence in our mid-term growth outlook, highlighted by upcoming milestones for Kisqali, Pluvicto and iptacopan. Novartis robust balance sheet and expected future growth allow us to initiate an up-to USD 15 billion share buyback while maintaining the flexibility for continued strategic bolt-on acquisitions.”
The markets welcomed Novartis’ earnings report, with the company’s shares trading up nearly 5% Tuesday.
Like other large drugmakers, Novartis was quite active during Q2.
The highlight acquisition was kidney disease specialist Chinook Therapeutics, which was purchased for $3.2 billion in the middle of June. That deal is expected to close during the second half of the year.
One day before revealing its latest financials, Novartis announced that it acquired DtX Pharma for $500 million, with additional payments of up to $500 million upon completion of pre-specified milestones.
Additionally, Novartis recently divested its ‘front of eye’ ophthalmology assets to global eye health company Bausch + Lomb for $2.5 billion and signed a nearly $400 million manufacturing contract with Samsung Biologics.
On the legal front, Novartis added that it plans to appeal the negative decision received in a U.S. federal court regarding its patent covering Entresto.