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Susanne SchaffertThe information presented in this conference call contains forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. These may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Please refer to the company's Form 20-F on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a description of some of these factors. Joseph Jimenez Thanks. Hey, before we start, I've been asked by a number of people why we delayed our press release from 7 a.m., when we typically release, to 8:30. Due to the job eliminations that we announced this morning, I wanted our people to hear that news face-to-face as opposed to hearing about it over the radio or as they were coming to work. So I apologize for putting a number of you in a tough spot in terms of timing to get notes out, but I felt it was really important from a human resource standpoint to make sure that they heard it from us. So if you flip to Slide 4, we had a strong third quarter. Our sales were up 12% versus year ago in constant currency, and we were able to show continued strong operating leverage with our core operating income of 15%. Free cash flow was very strong for the quarter at $3.7 billion, and I feel good also of the innovation in the quarter and the 3 key approvals that we obtained. On Slide 5, you can see an overview of the financials. So sales of $14.8 billion for the quarter and core operating income of $4.1 billion. Slide 6 shows what I think is the benefit of our diversified portfolio. So we had, in the quarter, the strongest growth from Alcon, which was up 7% versus a year ago. Pharma also a very good performance, up 3%, and that's even while absorbing 5 points of generic erosion on Femara in the U.S. and on Diovan in Spain. Vaccines and Diagnostics, you can see is down slightly 2% due to lower sales of flu products against a pretty strong 2010 and also the delay of some of the bulk product shipments that we have in V&D.
So on Slide 7, we're continuing to execute well against our 3 priorities of innovation, growth and productivity. And I want to highlight some of our progress starting on the next slide, 8.We continue to lead the industry in new product approvals, and 2 of the key approvals in the third quarter were the Gilenya approval in Japan, so we think this is a very important approval for us, and also Afinitor approval in Europe for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. In terms of innovation, we're able to turn this innovation into profit growth and sales growth that hits the P&L. So on Slide 9, you can see that our newly launched products accounted for about 25% of group sales, up 31% versus a year ago. And importantly, Afinitor soon is going to get a boost based on the very strong Phase III clinical data in ER+ breast cancer, and we intend to file around the world in the fourth quarter. David's going to talk a little bit later about Afinitor and Galvus and a number of other products that are transforming the portfolio. On Slide 10, we saw a strong performance in our top 6 emerging markets, led by Alcon, OTC and Animal Health, all of which grew above 20% in constant currencies. I also want to point out China. For the group, China grew 35% versus year ago. So we're really starting to get some leverage in China On Slide 11, you can see that our Alcon division really delivered solid growth. And to me, this confirms that the integration work is not affecting execution of the business. So Surgical was up 11% in constant currencies. Pharmaceuticals in Alcon were up 9%. And the third franchise, Vision Care, was below expectations at down 1%, but it was really a mix. We had very good growth on contact lenses. In fact, AIR OPTIX lenses were up double digit, and that was offset, though, by the discontinuation of our specialty contact lens business and some weaker sales in multipurpose solutions. But overall, Alcon had a good quarter.
Sandoz on Slide 12 also shows some very strong performance in some key regions. So you can see strong performance in the U.S. This is for 9 months, almost $800 million on enoxaparin. We also have a very impressive success story in Canada on Sandoz, driven by their focus in the hospital channel, also double-digit growth in Western Europe and emerging markets. So you can see that the growth in Sandoz is very broad based.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com