General contact

Main switchboard

+41 61 324 11 11
+41 61 324 80 01
Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. GMT+1

US switchboard

+1 862 778 21 00
Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST


Global Media Relations
Eric Althoff
Basel, Switzerland

+41 61 324 7999


Investor Relations

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. GMT+1
(Central European Time)

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Frequently asked questions

Novartis Shares

General Financial Questions

  • How do you calculate your earning per share?

    Per-share information1

    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 Group and held as treasury shares.

    2014 2013
    Basic earnings per share
    Weighted average number of shares outstanding (in millions)
    2,426 2,441
    Net income attributable to shareholders of Novartis AG (USD millions)    
    - Continuing operations 10,654 9,189
    - Discontinuing operations -444 -14
    Total 10,210 9,175
    Basic earnings per share (USD )    
    - Continuing operations 4.39 3.76
    - Discontinuing operations -0.18 0.00
    Total 4.21 3.76

    Novartis shares are widely held. As of December 31, 2014, Novartis had approximately 150 000 shareholders (2013: 155 000) listed in its share register, representing 70% of issued shares.
    Based on the Novartis AG share register and excluding treasury shares held by Novartis AG and its subsidiaries (excluding foundations), approximately 41% (2013: 41%) of the shares registered by name were held in Switzerland and 47% were held in the US (2013: 47%).
    Approximately 12% of the shares registered in the share register were held by individual investors, while 88% were held by legal entities, nominees, fiduciaries and the ADS depositary.

  • Are there any limitations on voting rights for registered shareholders?

    The Company’s 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 share register.
    According to the share register, shareholders owning 2% or more of the Company’s capital at December 31, excluding treasury shares held by Novartis AG and other Novartis subsidiaries, are as follows:

    % holding of share capital
    December 31, 2014
    % holding of share capital
    December 31, 2013
    Novartis Foundation for Employee Participation, Basel 3.2 3.0
    Emasan AG, Basel 3.3 3.3

    Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway), Oslo, which held more than 2% of the share capital of Novartis AG as of December 31, 2013, held less than that amount as of December 31, 2014.

  • When does the fiscal year end for Novartis?

    Novartis uses the 12-month calendar year, ending December 31, as its fiscal year.

  • Where can I find historical financial information about Novartis?

    You can review quarterly and full-year historical financial information in the
    financial results or event calendar sections.

  • 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 provides an overview of net sales and operating expenses for our continuing operations based on IFRS values for 2014 and 2013 for currencies most important to the Group:

    US dollar (USD)Net sales3636
     Operating expenses3940
    Euro (EUR)Net sales2626
     Operating expenses2525
    Swiss franc (CHF)Net sales22
     Operating expenses1312
    Japanese yen (JPY)Net sales78
     Operating expenses55
    Russian ruble (RUB)Net sales22
     Operating expenses11
    Other currenciesNet sales2726
     Operating expenses1717

    Operating expenses in the above table include Cost of goods sold, Marketing & Sales, Research & Development, General & Administration, 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 Group’s results of operations as well as on 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 Group’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 expenditures in Swiss francs are significantly higher than our revenues 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. In addition, there is a risk that certain countries could take other steps which could significantly impact the value of their currencies. Such steps could include “quantitative easing” measures and potential withdrawals by countries from common currencies.

  • What accounting convention does Novartis follow?

    Our significant accounting policies are set out in Note 1 to the Group’s consolidated financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

    Given the uncertainties inherent in our business activities, we must make certain estimates and assumptions that require difficult, subjective and complex judgments. Because of uncertainties inherent in such judgments, actual outcomes and results may differ from our assumptions and estimates, which could materially affect the Group’s consolidated financial statements. Application of the following accounting policies requires certain assumptions and estimates that have the potential for the most significant impact on our consolidated financial statements.

  • How can I get a copy of your Annual Report?

    You will find detailed information about the 2014 Annual Report in our Annual Report page.

    You will find past annual reports in the order and download center of our newsroom.

Investor Relations Customer Services

For all other investor relations-related questions

Please contact us at investor relations contacts

For all other share registry-related questions

Please contact us at share registry contact

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