Novartis ( NVS) said its posted a 4% rise in net income for the second quarter, but the gain would have been 15% excluding charges for the acquisition of Chiron. Despite the charges, Daniel Vasella, the chairman and CEO of Novartis, predicted Monday that his company would achieve "another year of record sales and earnings." Sales of prescription pharmaceuticals, Novartis' dominant division, are expected to grow at a high-single-digit rate, while total corporate revenue should advance at double-digit rates in local currencies, the company said. For the three months ended June 30, Novartis earned $1.71 billion, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $9.18 billion. For the same period last year, it earned $1.65 billion, or 70 cents a share, on revenue of $8 billion. Although prescription pharmaceuticals account for most sales and profits, the best-performing of Novartis' four divisions was its Sandoz generic-drug unit. Sales climbed 74% to $1.45 billion, and operating income more than doubled to $207 million, thanks to a pair of acquisitions . The vaccines and diagnostics unit posted a second-quarter operating loss of $38 million on sales of $127 million, due to $67 million in one-time charges related to the Chiron acquisition. Although Novartis didn't provide a figure, the executive in charge of the division, Joerg Reinhardt, told analysts during a conference call that he was "confident" the company could produce more U.S. flu vaccine this year than last year. Plagued by manufacturing problems that wiped out its U.S. production during the 2004-2005 flu season, Chiron eventually provided 13 million shots for 2005-2006, well below the 30 million doses the company had forecast. A few months before Novartis assumed control, Chiron said it had the capacity to make 40 million doses for the 2006-2007 season. Earlier this year, Novartis purchased the 56% of Chiron that it didn't already own.