Alcon posted a 5 percent increase at constant exchange rates in its sales for the second quarter. On a reported basis, revenues rose by 2 percent to $1.9 billion. They generated an operating loss of $53 million compared with a $38 million profit a year earlier due to charges of $258 million from the amortization of certain intangible assets and $78 million in costs resulting from its separation from the Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis. On an adjusted basis, Alcon had core operating income of $310 million, representing a margin of 16.6 percent.
The company's vision care division, covering contact lenses and solutions, raised its sales by 3 percent to $0.8 billion. At constant currency rates, the top line grew by 6 percent. Dailies Total1 and Systane Complete achieved double-digit growth, while sales from the rest of the contact lens portfolio improved, thanks to new product enhancements, better product flow and sales execution, the company said.
Alcon continues to expect global growth in net sales for the full year of between 3 and 5 percent on a constant-currency basis and is aiming for a core operating margin in the range of 17 to 18 percent.
During a conference call, the company's chief executive, David Endicott, said that Alcon is making progress to become a “simpler, more agile company.” Endicott noted that the company smoothly managed the reorganization of its sales force, which resulted in a more efficient model with smaller territories for many company representatives.
The CEO was upbeat about the launch of the Precision1 line of daily contact lens, predicting a “favorable response” by the market because the lens is addressing a “largely under-served group” of consumers.
Endicott said that Alcon will continue investing in marketing and sales to support Precision1 during the year, but that the size of the effort will be less than in the second quarter. The product is expected to be available throughout the U.S. eyecare market by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Endicott added that Alcon is particularly interested in the treatment of glaucoma, an area where it sees growth opportunities. The group is also closely monitoring the myopia control market, where existing technology is aging, and is ready to step into the segment if it finds an “exciting” alternative.