BASEL, Switzerland (
said fourth-quarter net income rose 54% to $2.3 billion and the Swiss drugmaker named a new chief executive.
Novartis Tuesday said it named Joe Jimenez, currently division head of the pharmaceutical business as the company's new CEO. He will succeed Daniel Vasella who will remain chairman.
Novartis said core net income rose 47% to $2.9 billion on higher financing charges and reduced income from associated companies.
Net sales in the fourth quarter rose 28%, or 20% in local currencies, to $12.9 billion. Pharmaceuticals sales rose 13% in local currencies.
Novartis said it expects group net sales to rise at a mid-single-digit percentage rate in local currencies in 2010 "based on the rapidly growing contributions of recently launched products and targeted investments in emerging growth markets."
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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