Novartis International AG

Novartis Delivers Strong Double-Digit Growth and Margin Expansion in First Nine Months

    Basel, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire) -

    Key figures

@@start.t1@@      First nine months
                                         Nine months 2004         Nine months 2003      % Change
                                         USD m    % of sales      USD m  % of sales  USD  lc[1]
      Sales                          20 669                         18 134                    14         9
      Pharmaceutical                                                11 641                    16        11
      sales                          13 528
      Consumer Health                                                6 493                    10         5
      sales                            7 141
      Operating income          5 005          24.2         4 283         23.6    17
      Net income                    4 389          21.2         3 656         20.2    20
      Basic earnings per          USD                              USD
      share/ADS                        1.79                            1.48                    21@@end@@

    Third quarter

@@start.t2@@                                            Q3 2004                    Q3 2003                      % Change
                                         USD m    % of sales        USD m    % of sales  USD    lc
      Sales                          7 057                            6 210                        14        9
      Pharmaceutical                                                 4 041                        15      11
      sales                          4 646
      Consumer Health                                                2 169                        11        7
      sales                          2 411
      Operating income         1 717          24.3          1 469         23.7        17
      Net income                  1 547          21.9          1 277         20.6        21
      Basic earnings per      USD                                USD
      share/ADS                    0.63                              0.52                         21@@end@@

    [1] lc - Local currencies

    - Nine-month sales rise 14% (+9% lc) to USD 20.7 billion, with Pharmaceuticals growing 16% (+11% lc) and Consumer Health advancing 10% (+5% lc)

    - Pharmaceuticals continues to achieve strong double-digit growth and market share gains in a slowing global healthcare market, driven by enhanced leadership positions in the cardiovascular and oncology franchises

    - Consumer Health sales up 10% in USD due mainly to double-digit growth in OTC and Medical Nutrition, offsetting lower sales growth in Sandoz generics business

    - Operating income advances faster than sales, rising 17% to USD 5.0 billion, owing to excellent business performance and effective resource allocation

    - Net income up 20% to USD 4.4 billion, while EPS advances 21% to USD 1.79 per share

    Please find the full press release under the following link: http://www.novartis.com

ots Originaltext: Novartis International AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
John Gilardi, Novartis Global Media Relations, Tel +41-61-324-3018 or
+41-61-324-2200, john.gilardi@group.novartis.com.  Nehl Horton,
Novartis Global Media Relations, Tel +41-61-324-5749 or
+41-61-324-2200, nehl.horton@group.novartis.com



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