Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Oct 22, 2019 • 08:00 am ET


Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning and good afternoon. And welcome to the Novartis Q3 2019 Results Release Conference Call and Live Audio Webcast. [Operator Instructions]With that, I would like to hand over to Mr. Samir Shah, Global Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Samir Shah

Thank you very much, and good morning, and good afternoon, everybody. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us for the investor call.

Before we start, I'll just read you the Safe Harbor statement. The information presented today contains forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. These may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Please refer to the Company's Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a description of some of these factors.

With that, I'll hand across to Vas.

Vasant Narasimhan

Thank you, Samir, and thanks, everyone, for joining today's conference call. As you saw earlier today, we announced what I think are really excellent results demonstrating the strong operational performance happening at Novartis, our continued progress on our innovation, as well as continuing to drive our strategic priorities, which we believe will drive sustainable long-term top and bottom line growth.

When you go to slide -- the first slide, Slide 4, just to give a little more color on what you all saw earlier today. We had double-digit top and bottom line growth in the quarter. Sales were up 13%, core operating income up 18% and core margin up 1.4%. Harry will go through these numbers in more detail, along with describing in a bit more detail as well our guidance increase, where we increased both sales and core operating income guidance for the year.

Equally as important, we had strong innovation performance in the quarter. When you look at it, we're on -- we are right on track to potentially have four -- potentially five new molecular entities approved in the United States, which really shows the kind of innovation power we have in the Company. Beovu was launched in the US, ofatumumab, of course, compelling efficacy in RMS, and then a number of other key milestones, many of which we'll go through over the course of this call.

So turning to the next slide. One of the important trends we want to start highlighting is how our key growth drivers are increasingly contributing to our overall sales performance. When you look at Innovative Medicine sales nine months to-date in 2019, we've grown now to have 28% of our sales coming from our key growth drivers, and many of these key growth drivers have very strong underlying dynamics as we'll talk about on the next slide.

In addition, our growth contribution is primarily coming from these growth drivers. We do have some, of course, Gx erosion and -- but -- and then some other benefits. But overall, the primary contributor to our growth year-to-date has been these key growth drivers, most