PHARMACEUTICALS group Novartis saw sales and income decline during the year, it has revealed.
The Swiss-based group, which employs about 600 staff making flu vaccines at its Speke plant, said sales for 2012 were 3% down on current exchange rates to about £37.5bn.
Core operating income showed a 5% decline to around £10bn.
The vaccines and diagnostics division achieved net sales of around £1.26bn for the full year, which was a 7% fall, while a core operating loss of £49.6m compared with an income of £89.4m in 2011, due to one-time sales of pandemic flu treatments in 2011, which involved the Speke Boulevard site.
Chief executive Joseph Jimenez said today: “Novartis maintained strong momentum in innovation in 2012, securing 17 major approvals and significantly advancing promising pipeline projects.
“Our pipeline is expected to deliver a record number of near-term approvals and filings, and with our strong global commercial capacity we anticipate 14 products to reach blockbuster status by 2017, up from eight in 2012.
“After our 2013 patent expirations are behind us, our relentless focus on innovation, growth, and productivity is expected to result in group net sales growth of at least mid-single digits in both 2014 and 2015, with core operating income growing ahead of sales.”