Alcon’s sales of contact lenses were roughly stable in Q1 2021 as compared to the same quarter in 2019, reaching $509 million, representing an increase of 1 percent in reported terms and a 1 percent decrease on a constant currency basis. The positive effect of the launch of the new Precision 1 contact lenses was more than offset by declines in international markets due to mixed Covid-19 recovery, the company said. The vision care segment, which also includes ocular health products such as eye drops and contact lenses’ solutions, posted overall revenues of $833 million in the quarter, down by 3 percent as compared to 2020 on a constant-currency basis.

Boosted by a 9 percent year-on-year hike in the surgical division, the group reported total revenues of $1,910 million, up by 5 percent in reported terms and by 2 percent in constant currencies. EBITDA went from a negative $28 million in Q1 2020 to a positive $149 million in Q1 2021. The group expects annual sales of between $7.8 billion and $8.0 billion, as compared to $6.8 billion in 2020, and a core operating margin at about 17 percent versus 11.7 percent last year.