Novartis has reported a 41 percent drop in operating income to $150 million for its eyewear business unit, Alcon, in the second quarter, as a $119 million charge for impairment of intangible assets aggravated a drop in the core operating margin of 5.5 percentage points to 31.1 percent of sales. Currencies were responsible for 1.8 percentage points. The balance was attributed to the product mix, higher revenues provisions and higher R&D and M&S spending. At $2.6 billion, Alcon's sales were flat during the period. Sales went up by 2 percent in constant currencies for the first half of the year in constant currencies, with a one percent increase in Vision Care. Continued increases for Dailies Total1 and AirOptix Colors were offset by a steady decline in contact lens care.