Alcon, Swiss Pharmaceutical Firm Growth Slows

Alcon, Swiss Pharmaceutical Firm Growth Slows

Tue, May 14th 2024

Alcon’s Q1 2023 results show good sales and net profit gains, although growth slightly tapered compared to last year.

KEYSTONE/Martial Trezzini

Alcon, the US-Swiss medical company, continued its upward trajectory in the first quarter of 2023, though its growth pace moderated slightly from the previous year. The company recorded a turnover of $2.44 billion from January to March, marking a 5% increase. This performance, announced after the US stock exchange closed on Monday, reflects a slight deceleration from the over 7% growth reported in the same period last year.

Exchange rate fluctuations slightly dampened sales figures. However, when adjusted for these effects, sales growth in local currencies stood at 7%, aligning with last year’s performance.

Profitability saw a notable improvement, with Alcon’s core margin rising to 22.0% from 20.6% in the previous year’s first quarter. The company’s unadjusted operating margin also climbed significantly, reaching 15.1% up from 11.5%. Alcon’s bottom line benefited greatly, with quarterly profits jumping to $248 million, up from $174 million a year earlier.

Core earnings per share increased to 78 cents from 70 cents in the previous year, surpassing analysts’ expectations regarding margins and earnings per share. However, the revenue figures slightly missed the forecasts, where experts anticipated a growth of 6.4% and sales nearing $2.5 billion with a core operating margin of 20.3%.

CEO David Endicott expressed optimism about the company’s diverse product range, particularly highlighting record sales in innovative contact lenses. “We are encouraged by the positive momentum we are seeing across our broad product range,” Endicott noted in the press release.

Looking ahead, Alcon remains positive about meeting its annual targets, revising its sales growth forecast to 7-9%, up from the previously projected 6-8%. The company maintains its sales target for the year at between $9.9 and $10.1 billion.


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