Novartis profits

NOVARTIS, the world's largest healthcare company, said first-half earnings rose 14 per cent as rising income from investments more than offset stagnant operating profits. The company said it will sell low-margin nutrition brands to raise profitability.

Net income at the maker of blockbuster transplant drug Neoral and Ciba Vision eye-care products rose to Sfr3.6bn (pounds 1.5bn) from Sfr3.1bn. Investment income jumped fivefold, while operating profits were little changed on higher marketing costs.

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