Novartis sales rise as customers restock after lockdown
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said on Wednesday its second-quarter sales rose 9%, driven largely by restocking customers after they had depleted their inventory during pandemic lockdowns last year.
Net profit jumped 49% from the same period last year to $ 2.9 billion (€ 2.4 billion), which the company said was due to lower charges financial. Net sales were $ 13 billion in the March-June quarter, a 9% gain when currency swings were removed.
The increase in volumes would have resulted in an increase in sales of 13 percent, but lower prices and increased competition from generics brought that number down to nine percent. Of that total, Novartis estimates that four percentage points came from customers who were stocking up after slashing orders last year at the height of the pandemic.
While at first glance, pharmaceutical companies could be expected to profit from the pandemic, companies like Novartis saw their sales plummet last year. The company said doctor visits, surgeries and cancer treatments declined as people avoided hospitals during the first wave of the pandemic, weighing on drug sales. Novartis said this had caused a comparison effect this year and sales were almost back to pre-pandemic levels.
Doctor visits, surgeries and cancer treatments declined as people avoided hospitals during the first wave of the pandemic, weighing on drug sales
Novartis said it continues to feel the effects of the pandemic in some geographies.
He said sales of cancer treatments and generic drugs were also being impacted by COVID. But the firm expects the effects of the pandemic to continue to subside. “We expect further easing of restrictions related to COVID-19 in the second half of the year with a positive impact on business dynamics,” Novartis said in a statement.
In the first six months of the year, the company’s sales increase was less marked, at 3%. Novartis has left its forecast of a one to five percent sales increase for 2021 as a whole unchanged.
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