Why Did Sandoz Report Operational Growth?




Sandoz is the generics arm of Novartis (NVS). It’s the second generic medicine provider worldwide. It’s first in differentiated generics including products that are difficult to develop and manufacture. For 1Q16, Sandoz contributed ~21.1% of the total revenue at $2.44 billion.

Sandoz reported no change in its 1Q16 revenue including the currency impact. Increased sales of 11% were offset by a decline of 7% due to price erosion and a -4% impact of foreign exchange.

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Performance of Sandoz products

The revenue drivers for Sandoz are biopharmaceuticals, including biosimilars and Glatopa, and dermatology products. However, these revenues are offset by a few products like Diovan monotherapy.


The global sales of biopharmaceuticals including biosimilars, biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing, and Glatopa increased by 50% at constant exchange rates to $214 million. The growth was mainly contributed by Glatopa and three in-market biosimilars including Omnitrope, Binocrit, and Zarxio. Glatopa is the first generic version of Teva Pharmaceutical’s (TEVA) Copaxone 20mg used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

Anti-infective franchise and retail generics

The anti-infective franchise improved due to production capacities. It reported a 3% decrease in revenue at constant exchange rates to $360 million for 1Q16. This was due to lower sales and a weak flu season.

For retail generics, 1Q16 revenue increased at constant exchange rates following the transfer of mature products from the pharmaceuticals segment. Transferred products include four products from GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) oncology portfolio. They were acquired by Novartis in March 2015. The growth was impacted by price erosion of its products including Diovan monotherapy. Diovan monotherapy’s competitor products are from Mylan (MYL).

Investors can consider ETFs like the First Trust Value Line Dividend ETF (FVD) in order to divest the risk. FVD holds ~0.5% of its total assets in Novartis.


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