Sales declined by 3 percent to $2.55 billion at Alcon, the subsidiary of Novartis that comprises Ciba Vision's former contact lens business. They grew by 5 percent on a currency-neutral basis, led by continued increases in surgical products and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals

Alcon's Vision Care Performance segment, which includes contact lenses and solutions, saw sales drop by 5 percent in dollars and rise by 3 percent in local currencies. Products such as Dailies Total1, AquaComfort Plus and AirOptix Colors led the currency-neutral growth, partially offset by a decline in solutions. The segment's sales in emerging markets had particularly strong growth of 3 percent in dollars and 15 percent in local currencies.

Alcon's operating income improved by 25 percent in terms of constant currencies, but fell by 7 percent on a reported basis to $353 million. The prioritization of development projects and other initiatives boosted productivity.

Including some discontinued operations, Novartis saw its total sales decline by 7 percent to $11.9 billion, generating a reduced operating margin of 23.3 percent, higher than the 13.8 percent ratio of Alcon.