Where can I learn more about Novartis financial results?

Our Financial Data section provides links to:

Upcoming releases and more events are listed in our Event Calendar.

How do you calculate your earning per share?

Basic earnings per share (EPS) is calculated by dividing net income attributable to shareholders of Novartis AG by the weighted average number of shares outstanding in a reporting period. This calculation excludes the average number of issued shares purchased by the Company and held as treasury shares.

For diluted EPS, the weighted average number of shares outstanding is adjusted to assume the vesting of all restricted shares, restricted share units, and in 2022 and 2021 the conversion of all potentially dilutive shares arising from options on Novartis shares that have been issued. At December 31, 2023, there were no options on Novartis shares issued or outstanding.

No options were excluded from the calculation of diluted EPS in 2022 or 2021, as all options were dilutive in both years.

 202320222021
Net income attributable to shareholders of Novartis AG (USD millions)   
- Continuing operations8 5686 04922 908
- Discontinued operations6 2829061 113
Net income attributable to shareholders of Novartis AG (USD millions)14 8506 95524 021

Number of shares (in millions)
   
Weighted average number of shares outstanding used in basic earnings per share2 0772 1812 243
Adjustment for vesting of restricted shares, restricted share units and dilutive shares from options15 1617
Weighted average number of shares in diluted earnings per share2 0922 1972 260

Basic earnings per share (USD)
   
- Continuing operations4.132.7710.22
- Discontinued operations3.020.420.49
Total basic earnings per share (USD)7.153.1910.71

Diluted earnings per share (USD)
   
- Continuing operations4.102.7610.14
- Discontinued operations3.000.410.49
Total diluted earnings per share (USD)7.103.1710.63


Are there any limitations on voting rights for registered shareholders?

Novartis AG Articles of Incorporation state that no person or entity shall be registered with the right to vote for more than 2% of the share capital, as set forth in the commercial register. In particular cases, the Board of Directors may allow exemptions from the limitation for registration in the Novartis Share Register.

According to the Novartis Share Register, shareholders who owned 2% or more of the Company’s capital at December 31, 2023, and were entitled to voting rights on all of their shares, excluding treasury shares held by Novartis AG or its fully owned subsidiaries (including Swiss foundations controlled by Novartis AG), were as follows:

Shareholders registered for their own account:% holding of share capital
Dec 31, 2023
% holding of share capital
Dec 31, 2022
Emasan AG, Basel13.93.7
UBS Fund Management (Switzerland) AG, Basel2.72.3
Credit Suisse Funds AG, Zurich2.22.1
  1. According to a disclosure notification filed with Novartis AG, the beneficial owner of the shares registered for Emasan AG is Sandoz – Fondation de Famille, Liechtenstein.


What is the exposure to exchange rate risk for Novartis?

We transact our business in many currencies other than the US dollar, our reporting currency.

The following table provides an overview of net sales from continuing operations and operating expenses based on IFRS values for 2023, 2022 and 2021, for currencies most important to the Company:

Currency 2023
%
2022
%
2021
%
US dollar (USD)Net sales from continuing operations434138
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1383838
Euro (EUR)Net sales from continuing operations242427
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1192122
Swiss franc (CHF)Net sales from continuing operations111
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1222220
Chinese yuan (CNY)Net sales from continuing operations777
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1444
Japanese yen (JPY)Net sales from continuing operations455
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1223
Canadian dollar (CAD)Net sales from continuing operations222
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1111
British pound (GBP)Net sales from continuing operations223
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1522
Russian ruble (RUB)Net sales from continuing operations121
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1011
Brazilian real (BRL)Net sales from continuing operations221
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1111
Australian dollar (AUD)Net sales from continuing operations111
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1011
Other currenciesNet sales from continuing operations131314
 Operating expenses from continuing operations1877

1. Operating expenses include cost of goods sold; selling, general and administration; research and development; other income and other expense.

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in US dollars. As a result, fluctuations in the exchange rates between the US dollar and other currencies can have a significant effect on both the Company’s results of operations as well as the reported value of our assets, liabilities and cash flows. This in turn may significantly affect reported earnings (both positively and negatively) and the comparability of period-to-period results of operations.

For purposes of our consolidated balance sheets, we translate assets and liabilities denominated in other currencies into US dollars at the prevailing market exchange rates as of the relevant balance sheet date. For purposes of the Company’s consolidated income and cash flow statements, revenue, expense and cash flow items in local currencies are translated into US dollars at average exchange rates prevailing during the relevant period. As a result, even if the amounts or values of these items remain unchanged in the respective local currency, changes in exchange rates have an impact on the amounts or values of these items in our consolidated financial statements.

Because our expenditure in Swiss francs is significantly higher than our revenue in Swiss francs, volatility in the value of the Swiss franc can have a significant impact on the reported value of our earnings, assets and liabilities, and the timing and extent of such volatility can be difficult to predict.

Top 10 questions from shareholders and our responses

Last updated: February 2024

What are your views on China-specific risk and how do you mitigate bribery risks?

  • China launched a one-year campaign to address corruption in healthcare. In the long term, we expect a positive impact driving the healthcare sector to create a more transparent, fair and professional environment and strengthen the competitive advantage of innovation-based companies who invest in compliance. 
  • We have a comprehensive compliance management system, which has been implemented globally, including China. It is aligned with recognized international standards and best practices that help us prevent, detect, respond and correct systemic misconduct. A core objective of our compliance management system is to maintain a culture of integrity designed to promote and enable ethical behavior.
  • Our processes, like Compliance Risk, Assessment & Monitoring, Review, Monitoring & Remediation visits, Internal Audit and SpeakUp are designed to detect and prevent misconduct. Where evidence of misconduct is detected, we take swift and appropriate action. Breaches of the Code of Ethics, policies, guidelines, or local laws result in remedial, corrective, or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

How are you preparing for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive?

  • We are monitoring developments related to the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) directive very closely and feel that we are in a strong position to comply once it becomes final and implemented through EU member states.
  • In December 2022, Novartis completed an external assessment of our human rights program against the industry benchmark. The results indicated ‘a relatively strong program in comparison to our peers’ and we have also undertaken implementation of key recommendations to further strengthen our program in anticipation of increased legislation.
  • We are ensuring compliance with new human rights legislations in various countries including Switzerland, Germany, Norway and eventually with the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.

How do you assess impact of sustainability due diligence on supply chain reporting?

  • We believe that supply chain due diligence is an essential part of an effective ethics, risk and compliance program.
  • In 2018, we started to introduce a comprehensive third-party risk management program, which goes beyond classic anti-corruption topics. We included topics very early on, which are now on the agenda of the EU Commission, especially on human rights, the environment and health & safety topics.
  • Novartis continues to look at best practices in the industry and beyond, and how we can further develop. We also engage actively with regulators on challenges, especially Tier 2 and 3 suppliers and sub-suppliers. On reporting, we provide a detailed insight into our supply chain and associated risk management of the supply chain in our Novartis in Society Integrated Report.

How is Novartis managing to comply with the evolving ESG reporting landscape?

  • Novartis is well positioned to meet existing and emerging requirements in this rapidly evolving and complex regulatory landscape.
  • Within Novartis, we have integrated various teams to collaborate on reporting requirements:
    • Within Finance, we have a Head of Reporting and Assurance for ESG Data, whose role is to monitor ongoing standards and regulations on reporting.
    • Our Sustainability and ESG Office and Legal teams monitor ESG regulations and standards and collaborate with the Finance team.
  • To integrate our efforts, Novartis created an ESG Reporting Council to review the quality of our ESG data, current trends and review emerging standards. We also are involved with many external organizations that focus on specific jurisdictions and work closely with selected consultants for input and training.

Can you explain your shift to an impact-led model in Sub-Saharan Africa?

  • In 2018, we reviewed our strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, which has 1.6bn people and identified a gap between good health coverage and where it is today.
  • Based on the unique and significant challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa, we believed that a classical business approach would be insufficient to achieve financial sustainability. It was a critical moment for us, as we decided to pivot the business from a financially driven business to an impact-driven one. We also decided to measure patient reach as a surrogate for impact.
  • Our model has worked very well and motivated the right behaviors across the organization. Currently, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the patient reach has been increasing year over year, with the financials following demonstrating that we are delivering impact in society.

How is local affordability factored into the access strategies for Novartis?

  • Local affordability, one of several barriers to healthcare is critical to our access efforts at Novartis, and we believe that pricing should not prevent patients in need from getting access to medicines.
    • As part of a number of approaches that we are actively employing, the first step is tiered pricing which is enabled by the emerging market brands.
    • We also explore shared value propositions and strategic donations, where appropriate.
  • We increasingly see that a critical barrier is the readiness of the health system to deal with this innovation. To bring a second-line treatment to a community, patients need to be diagnosed or a first-line treatment needs to exist.
  • Our approach is to take a holistic and integrated view when it comes to access. Our model in Sub-Saharan Africa is focused on taking the profits we make and reinvesting it into the advancement of healthcare using our access principles or similar. We continually look at opportunities to strengthen our propositions and see how we can address the entire continuum of care.

What is your approach to partnerships in Global Health?

  • Partnerships are a critical enabler for Global Health, including in the R&D space and with organizations that help us reach more patients.
  • We will continue to explore new models and partnerships to increase access.
  • It is important for Novartis that when we evaluate future partnerships to focus on the potential capabilities, which include skills and complementarity. This helps us ultimately deliver impact at scale.
  • We appreciate organizations that co-invest with Novartis which reduce some of the financial burden of doing work in areas with limited financial return. However, the funding potential is not the main criterion for entering partnerships.

Can you update us on your biodiversity aims?

  • To minimize our environmental footprint, we have so far set targets for Climate (e.g. net-zero by 2040), Waste (e.g. Plastic Neutral by 2030) and Water (e.g. Water Neutral by 2030). Whilst we continue to deliver on our environmental sustainability strategy and targets, Novartis recognizes the growing importance of Biodiversity and Nature, and we are committed to addressing biodiversity risks. Novartis is currently conducting a Biodiversity/Nature technical risk assessment that aligns with guidance from both the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) and the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). The scope of this assessment includes Novartis core operations and key upstream commodity supply chains, providing insights into Novartis nature dependencies, impacts, material risks and opportunities.

    Based on this analysis, we plan to have a biodiversity strategy by end of 2024– we will publish our approach to biodiversity in our 2024 Integrated Report (approach to disclosures dependent on results of our materiality analysis).

Can you share your efforts in addressing gender diversity at the Board?

  • The Governance, Sustainability, Nomination Committee (GSNC) assesses the set of competencies as well as the individual skills annually to ensure that an appropriate balance of skills, expertise, experience and diversity is represented on the Board.
  • Gender equity is one of the criteria we consider in our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion across our leadership teams and workforce.
  • Compared to 2019, the female representation on our Board rose from 25% to 31%.
  • The GSNC is focused on achieving even greater diversity when identifying new Board member candidates and we pledge to continuously advance our efforts to promote gender parity in the composition of our Board of Directors within a range of +/- 10%.

What is your position on over-boarding at Board level?

  • We review the external mandates of our Board members regularly and ensure that they are compliant with the Novartis articles of association, which allow for up to four additional mandates in other listed companies (whereas chair positions count as two mandates).
  • Any potential mandate in listed and non-listed companies requires pre-approval, where Novartis assesses the overall mandates of a Board member as well as potential conflicts of interest.
  • We also pay close attention to time spent on external commitments and time required for travel and the attendance record of our Board members.

What is the new cost basis of my Novartis and Sandoz shares following the spin-off of Sandoz from Novartis?

Information about allocation of tax basis for U.S. holders may be found in the Form 8937: Basis of Securities (PDF 0.1 MB). With regard to non-U.S. holders, please note that the allocation of tax basis for Novartis and Sandoz shares following the spin-off depend on the applicable local tax provisions and each shareholder’s individual circumstances. Accordingly, all shareholders and ADR holders are asked to consult their own tax advisor regarding the tax basis allocation calculations.

Where are Novartis shares traded?

Novartis shares are listed and traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (Valor No. 001200526, ISIN CH0012005267, symbol: NOVN) as well as on the NYSE in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADR) (Valor No. 567514, ISIN US66987V1098, symbol: NVS).

What are the ticker symbols for Novartis?

SharesSIX (Reuters / Bloomberg)NOVN.S / NOVN SW
ADRsNYSE (Reuters / Bloomberg)NVS / NVS US


What is an ADR/ADS?

ADR stands for American Depositary Receipt. ADS stands for American Depositary Share. An ADR is a receipt for a number of shares of a foreign-based corporation held by a US depositary bank, entitling the ADR holder to all dividends and capital gains.

What is the number of outstanding shares in Novartis?

Key Novartis share data

 202320222021
Issued shares2 277 477 7522 403 721 2522 434 420 920
Treasury shares1233 443 766284 112 195199 480 972
Outstanding shares at December 312 044 033 9862 119 609 0572 234 939 948
Weighted average number of shares outstanding2 076 794 1402 181 180 3412 242 601 173


1. Approximately 94 million treasury shares (2022: 99 million 2021: 102 million) are held in Novartis entities that restrict their availbility for use.

What is the number of outstanding ADRs in Novartis?

Key data on ADRs issued in the US

 202320222021
Year-end ADR price (USD)100.9790.7287.47
Number of ADRs outstanding1189 633 312225 435 680269 891 321


1. The depositary, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., holds one Novartis AG share for every ADR issued.

When is your dividend going to be paid?

The dividend payment date has been set for March 11, 2024.

What is the dividend history for Novartis shares?

The Novartis Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 3.30 per share to the shareholders for approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 05, 2024.

Learn more about dividend information

What is the new cost basis of my Novartis and Alcon shares following the spin-off of Alcon from Novartis?

Information about allocation of tax basis for U.S. holders may be found in the Form 8937: Basis of Securities (PDF 0.1 MB). With regard to non-U.S. holders, please note that the allocation of tax basis for Novartis and Alcon shares following the spin-off depend on the applicable local tax provisions and each shareholder’s individual circumstances. Accordingly, all shareholders and ADR holders are asked to consult their own tax advisor regarding the tax basis allocation calculations.

What are the income tax implications to Canadian shareholders due to the Alcon spin-off?

The following documents include the Finance Canada and Canada Revenue Agency comfort letter, Canada income tax guidelines and tax election letters related to the Alcon Spin-off for Canadian resident shareholders:

Canada Income Tax Alcon Spin-off FAQ - English (PDF 0.1 MB)

Canada Income Tax Alcon Spin-off FAQ- French (PDF 0.1 MB)

Department of Finance Canada Comfort Letter (PDF 0.1 MB)

Download the Canada and Quebec Tax Election Example Letters (ZIP 0.1 MB)

 

What is the amount and timing of the next dividend payment?

The Novartis Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 3.30 per share to the shareholders for approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 05, 2024.

If this proposal is approved, the dividend will be paid as from March 11, 2024. The last trading day with entitlement to receive the dividend is March 06, 2024. As from March 07, 2024, the shares will be traded ex-dividend.

Is the dividend on the Novartis ordinary share and the Novartis ADR the same?

Yes, however, since ADR holders will receive their dividend in US dollars, the amount received will be impacted by currency exchange rates, as well as by a handling fee (historically, $0.01 per share) associated with the ADR dividend. An estimate of the amount of the US dollar dividend for the ADR will be calculated on the day of the dividend announcement based on that day’s exchange rates. The actual exchange rate will be determined once all funds are received and exchanged by J.P. Morgan, the depositary bank.

Since 2019, Novartis’s dividend to ADR holders will be paid in two stages. The first payment will be equal to 65% of the payout, payable one week after Swiss payment date. Those holders reclaiming withholding tax will receive a second payment once the reclaim process is completed.

Will the rate recently announced for the ADRs change between now and the ADR payment date?

Yes, the preliminary announcement only provides an estimated rate based on a current FX rate. The actual rate will be determined when the Swiss Francs are converted to US dollars on the Swiss payment date once all the funds are received by J.P. Morgan, the Depositary.

Will the dividend on the Novartis ADR be paid out on the Swiss payment date of March 11, 2024?

No, the dividend on the Novartis ADR will be paid out only after a tax reclaim has been completed and once any such reclaimed funds have been received by J.P. Morgan from the Swiss Tax Authorities. Once the funds are received and converted into US dollars a payment will be made shortly thereafter to any ADR holders entitled thereto. The ADR Payment date is estimated to be on or around April 25, 2024.

Will the entire dividend amount be converted into US dollars after the Swiss tax reclaim has been completed?

No. On the Swiss payment date 65% of the dividend is received by JP Morgan. This amount will be converted into U.S. dollars at or after such time. 

Why can’t J.P. Morgan receive all of the funds on the Swiss payment date?

The Swiss Tax Authorities require that a tax reclaim be completed prior to each payment for any amounts due above and beyond the non-treaty amount. Investors must certify and elect their entitlement and provide necessary disclosure documentation as required by the treaty between the US and Switzerland based upon their tax status.

Why does it take so long to get the reclaim funds back from the Swiss Tax Authorities?

Holders of ADRs entitled to receive the dividend are not able to elect until after the ADR record date which is just one (1) day prior to the Swiss payment date. Eligible holders of ADRs are given 10 days to complete and submit their election. Once any reclaims are submitted to the Swiss Tax Authorities it takes approximately 15 days for such authorities to process the reclaim.

Will another announcement be made once the tax reclaim funds are received?

No, the funds will be converted and paid to the holders.

How does the tax reclaim process work?

There is a process for banks and brokers within Depositary Trust Company to elect their clients’ correct tax status electronically and to provide documentation on behalf of their clients. J.P. Morgan elects on behalf of registered holders based upon their tax status. Please contact J.P. Morgan / Goal Group Recoveries, Inc., New York at +1 212 248 9130 for further questions.