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Lower profits as Novartis cuts jobs


Lower profits as Novartis cuts jobs


After announcing that its third quarter net profit was not as good as expected, Swiss drugmaker Novartis says it is going to cut 1,260 jobs in the United States. That should save around 160 million euros annually from next year.

In addition, the Basel based firm’s pharmaceutical division is being reorganised with Joe Jimenez formerly of AstraZeneca taking it over.

Third quarter profit was down by 12% at 1.1 billion euros, compared with 1.4 billion in the second quarter and 1.6 billion in the first three months of the year.

That was due to competitors launching rival generic versions of some of its drugs after Novartis’ patents expired. In addition income suffered due to the suspension from sale in the US of a bowel drug Zelnorm.

Analysts seemed pleased with the figures. One said he thought the weaker third quarter results mark the bottoming out for Novartis, which expects that new drugs in the pipeline will help it turn in a robust performance next year and in 2009, though the pharmaceutical industry remains under pressure.

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