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Chairman steps down even as Novartis posts profit rise news
24 January 2013

Earnings at healthcare solution provider, Novartis surged in the fourth quarter, handsomely beating analysts estimates.

The Basel, Switzerland based company reported a 42-per cent increase in fourth quarter profit, as earnings stood at $2.08 billion, or 84 cents per share, from $1.21 billion, or 49 cents per share last year.

Excluding special items, earnings for the quarter stood at $3.10 billion, or $1.27 per share, beating analysts estimate of $1.19 per share.

Revenue was flat at $14.83 billion, from $14.78 billion last year and sales in 2013 are expected to fall to an expired patent on the company's hypertension drug Diovan.

FY 2012 profit was up by 4 per cent to $9.62 billion from $9.25 billion last year.

Further, Novartis announced that chief executive and chairman Daniel Vasella would be leaving the board in February at the annual shareholders meeting and the board has suggested Bayer Health Care's, Joerg Reinhardt as replacement for Vasella. Vasella has had a 25-year stint with the  company, serving as CEO, and chairman.

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Chairman steps down even as Novartis posts profit rise