READ MOREOperating income declined 13% from last year to $1.94 billion, mainly due to net charges from the voluntary withdrawal of CyPass, higher restructuring and growth investments.
Core net income for the quarter was $3.1 billion, compared to $3.02 billion last year. Core earnings per share were $1.32, compared to $1.29 a year earlier.
Core operating income grew 9% to $3.56 billion, mainly driven by higher sales and improved gross margin, partly offset by growth investments, including AveXis.
Net sales for the third quarter were $12.78 billion, up 3% from last year's $12.41 billion. Analysts were looking for sales of $12.96 billion.
Sales grew 6% constant currencies driven by volume growth of 9 percentage points, mainly from Cosentyx, Entresto, Oncology including Novartis, and Alcon.
Strong volume growth was partly offset by the negative impacts of pricing and generic competition.
Looking ahead, the company now expects Group net sales in 2018 to grow mid-single digit at constant currencies. The company said in July that it expected net sales to grow low to mid-single digit at constant currency rates.
The company further confirmed its guidance for Group core operating income in 2018, which it expects to grow mid to high-single digit at constant currencies. ■