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Novartis profit rises to $3.15 billion

Swiss drug maker Novartis has posted a 17 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit on strong sales of new products and the acquisition of eye care company Alcon.

The $3.15 billion (SFr3.04 billion) net profit is up from $2.68 billion in the same period of 2009.

The Basel-based company said sales had increased 13 per cent to $12.6 billion from $11.1 billion a year earlier.

Novartis said sales and earnings would have been higher if not for the weak US dollar.

The company said full-year sales excluding Alcon were expected to grow in the mid- to high-single digit range in constant currencies but noted that the boost it received from swine flu vaccines last year wouldn't occur in the fourth quarter. and agencies


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