ZURICH, July 18 (Reuters) - Novartis NOVN.S lifted full-year sales and profit targets on Thursday, helped by innovative medicine sales and as the Swiss drugmaker's slimmed-down Sandoz generics unit saw accelerating revenue in markets outside the United States.
Core operating income rose 20% in constant currencies to $3.6 billion, while sales were up 8% to $11.8 billion, compared to the $11.54 billion forecast by 10 analysts in a Refinitiv poll.
The Basel-based company now expects 2019 core operating income to grow at low-double-digit to mid-teens percentages, faster than the previous high-single-digit percentage rate target. Sales expectations were also raised, with growth now seen in the mid to high-single digit range.
(Reporting by John Miller Editing by Thomas Seythal)