Swiss drug maker Novartis sees Q4 profit rise 72 per cent to $2.1B without charges

BERLIN – Swiss drug maker Novartis AG has reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $2.08 billion.

The result is 72 per cent higher than the $1.21 billion net profit reported for the last quarter of 2011 when the Basel-based company took a $900-million after ending its clinical study into wider uses of the hypertension drug Tekturna.

Novartis said Wednesday that fourth-quarter sales in 2012 were almost flat at $14.83 billion compared with $14.78 billion in the same period the previous year.

The company also said that long-time chairman and former chief executive Daniel Vasella will leave the board at the next shareholders’ meeting at the end of February.