Novartis reports major drop in Q4 profits

BASEL, Switzerland Novartis reported a 45 percent drop in fourth quarter net profit, which was affected by a restructuring charge, generic competition and a product withdrawal, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Galvus, a diabetes drug that Novartis had hoped would become a multibillion-dollar product, may never be launched in the U.S., the company said Thursday. Novartis hoped to start selling the drug in the U.S. last year, but the Food and Drug Administration requested more clinical testing, delaying Galvus’ launch indefinitely.

Novartis’s net profit fell to $904 million in the quarter from $1.65 billion a year earlier, hurt by a charge of $444 million for a cost-savings program. Under the program, announced in December, the company is cutting 2,500 jobs worldwide.

Novartis’ earnings will continue to suffer in the first half of 2008 but should improve in the second half of the year, according to chief executive officer Daniel Vasella.

Login or Register to post a comment.