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Oct 28, 7:34 AM EDT

Swiss drug maker Novartis posts 45 percent rise in third quarter profit

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GENEVA (AP) -- Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG has posted a 45 percent rise in net profit in the third quarter, boosted by strong sales of new products such as Gilenya for multiple sclerosis and the leukemia drug Tasigna.

The Basel, Switzerland-based company's reported quarterly net profit was $3.24 billion, up from last year's equivalent of $2.23 billion, which was downwardly adjusted to conform to reporting requirements. The result also included a gain from divesting the blood transfusion diagnostics unit.

In Tuesday's earnings statement, Novartis confirmed its outlook for the year of low to mid-single digit growth in net sales.

CEO Joseph Jimenez called it "a very strong quarter" and said that some of the milestones achieved, such as with drugs for heart failure and psoriasis, show the "innovation power of the company."

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