Alcon's total sales grew by 14.3 percent to $1,322.7 million in the 1st quarter, or by 12.0 percent on a currency-neutral basis. The gross margin slid by 1.5 percentage points to 73.6 percent of sales. Operating income rose by 17.7 percent to $403.1 million, and excluding an extraordinary pre-tax charge of $32.7 million, it climbed by 27.3 percent to $435.8 million. Net earnings increased by 17.1 percent to $346.2 million. Consumer eye care sales were up by 19.6 percent to $187.5 million, and grew by 17.6 percent in constant currencies. Within this category, sales of contact lens disinfectants climbed by 31.3 percent and benefited from product recalls by some of Alcon's competitors. For the full year, Alcon expects total sales to be in the range of $5,400-5,475 million.