(Adds core net income figures, comment from CEO)
ZURICH, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Actelion's 2016 core net income rose 27 percent on accelerating sales of its newer medicines to treat deadly pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), it said on Tuesday.
Core net income rose to 881 million Swiss francs ($877.8 million) from 693 million francs in the previous year, the company said in a statement.
Sales rose 18 percent to 2.42 billion francs, in line with the 2.41 billion francs expected in a Reuters poll.
Actelion reported that sales of its new drug Opsumit for PAH rose 57 percent to 831 million francs, while Uptravi booked 245 million francs in its first year after launch, more than making up for slumping sales of its once-mainstay Tracleer after patent expiration.
Europe's biggest biotech sold itself for $30 billion to U.S. healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson this year, in a deal that will also create a new research and development company to be overseen by Actelion Chief Executive Jean-Paul Clozel.
"Our current PAH portfolio and our late-stage pipeline will have expanded potential as part of Johnson & Johnson," Clozel said. "With the creation of a new R&D company we also have the opportunity to realize the value potential we have created with our discovery engine and early-stage pipeline."
($1 = 1.0037 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)